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Full text of "Allston-brighton: existing characteristics"

BOSTOM 
PUBLIC 
LIBRARY 



ALLSTON-BRIGHTON: EXISTING CHARACTERISTICS 

FALL, 1971 

Boston Redevelopment Authority 
Planning Department 
ALLSTON-BRIGHTON District Planning Program 



C. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

I. INTRODUCTION 

II. DESCRIPTION ON EXISTING CHARACTERISTICS 

A. Historical Development 

B. Population 

C. Land Use and Zoning 

D. Building Conditions 

E. Housing 

F. Transportation 

G. Economic Characteristics 

H. Community Facilities 

I. Neighborhood Areas Description 
J. Community Organization 

III. MAJOR PROBLEMS AND ISSUES 

A. Housing and a Growing Student Population 

B. Non-Residential Land Uses 

C. Transportation 

D. Conclusion 

IV. CURRENT AND PROPOSED IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMS 

A. Housing and Code Enforcement 

B. Parks and Playgrounds 

C. Public Facilities 

D. Transportation Improvements 

E. Economic Development 

F. Conclusion 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/allstonbrightoneOObost 



LIST OF MAPS 



1. City of Boston: Planning Districts 

2. Allston-Brighton: Historical Map 

3. Allston-Brighton: Census Tract Areas 

4. Allston-Brighton: Land Use 

5. Allston-Brighton: Zoning Map 

6. Allston-Brighton: Building Conditions 

7. Allston-Brighton: Existing Street System 

8. Allston-Brighton: Street System--Problem Areas 

9. Allston-Brighton: Public Transportation Facilities 

10. Allston-Brighton: Commercial and Industrial Areas 

11. Allston-Brighton: Public Schools 

12. Allston-Brighton: Parochial and Other Schools 

13. Allston-Brighton: Public Open Space Over One Acre 

14. Allston-Brighton: Health Facilities 

15. Allston-Brighton: Other Community Facilities 

16. Allston-Brighton: Neighborhood Areas 

17. Allston-Brighton: Current and Proposed Housing Improvement Programs 

18. Allston-Brighton: Current Public Facilities Improvements 

19. Allston-Brighton: Topics Program 



LIST OF TABLES 



Table 



1 
1 


A 


Iston-Brighton : 


ropuiation onange lyou-iy/u 




1 


A 

A 


Iston-Brighton ; 


Age Characteristics of the Population, 1970 




6 


A 

A 


Iston-Brighton : 


Youth and elderly ropuiation, lybU-iy/U 




A 

4 


A 

A 


Iston-Brighton : 


ramily Income, 19dU 







A 

A 


Iston-Brighton : 


Occupation of Persons in the Labor Force, 


1960 


b 


A 

A 


Iston-Brighton : 


Ethnic Composition by Census Tract Areas, 


1 ncr\ 
labU 


7 


A 


Iston-Brighton: 


Racial Characteristics, 1970 




8 


A 


Iston-Brighton: 


Land Use 




9 


A 


Iston-Brighton: 


Number of Housing Units, 1960-70 




10 


A 


Iston-Brighton: 


Housing Conditions, 1960 




1 1 


A 


Iston-Brighton: 


Housing Occupancy and Type, 1970 




12 


A 


Iston-Brighton: 


Relation of Population to Housing, 1960-70 




IJ 


A 

A 


Iston-Brighton: 


Age of Housing 




14 


A 

A 


Iston-Brighton : 


Public Housing 




1 c 


A 

A 


Iston-Brighton : 


L-ontract nent ot nentai units, ly/u 




1 D 


A 

A 


Iston-Brighton : 


Value of Owner Occupied Units, 1970 






A 1 
Al 


ISLUriDllyll LUr 1 . 


L-ZISLi lUU LIUil Ul dlipiuyiMcML uy iMUUbiiy 




1 Q 


A 

A 


Iston-Brighton : 


Major Industries 




1 Q 

1 y 


A 

A 


Iston-Brighton : 


Public School Enrollment, 1968-70 




on 


A 

A 


Iston-Brighton : 


Public School Capacity 




1 

^ 1 


A 
A 


Iston-Brighton : 


Public School Buildings 




22 


A 


Iston-Brighton: 


Parochial School Enrollment, 1968-70 




23 


A 


Iston-Brighton: 


Parochial School Buildings 




24 


A 


Iston-Brighton: 


Public and Parochial School Enrollment, 1968-70 


25 


A 


Iston-Brighton: 


Public Open Space Summary 




26 


A 


Iston-Brighton: 


Public Open Space - Listing by Type 




27 


A 


Iston-Brighton: 


Other Community Facilities 





I. INTRODUCTION 



A. 



DISTRICT PLANNING PROGRAM (See Map 1) 



In order to relate the planning process for 
improving Boston's neighborhoods more closely to local 
residents, the Boston Redevelopment Authority 
Planning Department has undertaken a DISTRICT 
PLANNING PROGRAM. This report has been prepared 
as part of the District Planning activities underway in 
Allston-Brighton. The major objective of the program 
is to establish an ongoing planning process in each 
district of the City, whereby community residents and 
City staff can work together in determining local needs, 
priorities and appropriate courses of action to improve 
each area. 

To this end and to develop a community concensus 
on important planning issues, the Allston-Brighton Local 
Advisory Council was established early in 1970. The 
LAC has and will continue to bring together people from 
Allston-Brighton who represent a cross-section of 
community interests and needs. In turn, the Boston 
Redevelopment Authority Planning Department, in 
cooperation with the Allston-Brighton Little City Hall, 
will provide technical planning assistance to the LAC. 



B. PURPOSE OF REPORT 

The purpose of this report is twofold. The first 
is to increase our knowledge of Allston-Brighton. The 
general trends and characteristics of Allston-Brighton are 
described in the following sections. It is intended that 
this report will enable the City agencies and community 
groups to arrive at a better understanding of the major 
problems and issues facing the Allston-Brighton 
community. 

The second purpose of this report is to establish 
a factual context for discussing, evaluating and resolving 
issues involving the future of Allston-Brighton with 
community residents and their representatives on the 
Allston-Brighton Local Advisory Council. It is hoped 
that this report on existing characteristics of the District 
will serve as a framework for determining priorities and 
programs reflecting community needs. 

Thus, we hope this report will be used by the 
citizens of Allston-Brighton and the Local Advisory 
Council both as a convenient repository of useful facts 
and information about the District, and as a basis for 
outlining more detailed studies and programs of those 
issues the community sees as important to its future. 



PLANNING DISTRICTS 




Allston 
Brighton 



irlestowi 

A^entral 
Bap^ Bay; 
icon Hi 



East 
Boston 





^enmor 



(South Boston 



Jamaica 
Parker, 



ram - 



Washington] 
Park- 
lodel Cit^ 



Dorchester' 



Roslindale 
West \ >^attapan-> 
Roxbury J . Franklin 



lyde Park 




DISTRICT PLANNING PROGRAM 

N j BOSTON REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY ^1 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING CHARACTERISTICS 



A. HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT (See Map 2) 

In 1635, an area referred to as "Little Cambridge," 
including what is now known as Allston-Brighton, was 
opened to land-grant settlers, who first lived in the area 
known today as Academy Hill and Brighton Center. By 
1689, however, only thirty families had settled in the 
area, perhaps as a result of incursions and general 
harrassment by the Nonantum Indians who occupied the 
section now known as Oak Square. The names of many 
of these early families - Sparhawk, Dana, Faneuil, 
Winship, Foster, Champney, and Bennet, are still known 
to most residents. 

The eighteenth century saw little real change in the 
essential character of the District. Allston-Brighton 
remained a sparse, residential settlement of farmers. In 
1779, the area of Allston-Brighton became a separate 
parish, and was incorporated as the town of "Brighton" 
in 1807. 

Brighton developed rather slowly during the first 
three quarters of the nineteenth century. The economic 
mainstay was still agriculture, and the only eastern 
transportation link ran through the Muddy River; the 
present Washington Street between Brookline and 
Cambridge Streets. The major exception to the rural 
character of Brighton during this period was the growing 
meatpacking industry located on the banks of the 
Charles River in the vicinity of what is today known 
as Birmingham Parkway and Soldiers' Field Road. By 
1850 the Brighton stockyards and slaughter houses, 
served by the Boston and Albany Railroad and barges 
along the Charles River, had become one of the most 
important cattle markets in the East. In later years, with 
the nation's westward expansion and the introduction 
of refrigerated railroad cars, the stockyards declined in 
.importance. At the same time, Allston-Brighton, as it 
is known today, began taking shape. 

Boston's expansion turned westward in the later 
part of the nineteenth century. After the Back Bay was 
filled and developed, Allston-Brighton became a more 
direct link with the area to the west of Boston via 
Brighton, Cambridge, Washington Streets and 
Commonwealth Avenue Extension. This pattern of 
westward expansion led to the annexation of 
Allston-Brighton by the City of Boston in 1874. 

At the time Allston-Brighton was annexed, only 
about three dozen roads were publicly maintained and 



the majority of the land was still devoted to farnn 
Following annexation, one of the major improvem 
was the construction of the Watertown trolley 
followed by the extension of Commonwealth Avd 
to the Chestnut Hill Reservoir in 1894, including 
trolley located in the median strip. During this pe 
city services were extended to Allston-Brighton. 
residences along Commonwealth Avenue acquire; 
reputation as a first-class residential area. These v\j 
in fact, the first "Street-car Suburbs." By 1900, 
number of roads in the District had quadrupled 
many fine homes had been built. 

Although sound residential neighborhoods v 
being developed adjacent to the major thorough! 
including Commonwealth Avenue, Washington St 
and Chestnut Hill Avenue, a different situation 
taking place in North Harvard and North Alls 
Lacking a clearly defined residential area, houses v' 
constructed between and adjacent to areas 
commercial activity. The result was the emergenci 
a rather confused and often conflicting land use patt 

In summary, this brief historical sketch indie 
some underlying reasons for Allston-Brighton's pre:! 
pattern of development. The extension of the street 
lines through the community encouraged fine resider 
development in the southern and western portion 
the district. However, the uncontrolled spread 
commercial ware housing and industrail uses interspe 
with housing in the northeastern sections resulted 
confusing, unpleasant and often blighted environnr 
- charteristic of that area today. 

B. POPULATION 

The major source for information on 
population of Allston-Brighton is the U. S. Census. Si 
1970 census data is not yet complete, the follovi 
discussion is limited to data presently available, 
addition, because the neighborhoods of Allston-Brigh 
in some cases do not conform to geographic areas 
which data are readily available, statistical materia 
this report is presented according to census tracts 
order to facilitate identification of each area 
descriptive name has been assigned to each tract I 
Map 3). 

1 . Population Change 

Preliminary census data for 1970, indit' 
that Allston-Brighton's current population 



2 

ALLSTON BRIGHTON 
HISTORICAL MAP 





CENSUS TRACT AREAS 




^^CHESTNyPp^S^EVELAND 
HILlJ /CIRCLE 



Legend 



Area 


I960 


1970 


North Allston 


Y - 1 


1 


North Harvard 


Y -2 


8 


South Allston 


Y-3A 


7 


Brighton Center 


Y-3B 


6 


Faneuil 


Y-4 


2 


OAK Square 


Y- 5A 


3 


Aberdeen 


Y-5B 


4 


Chestnut Hill - 


Y-5C 


5 


Cleveland Circle 







iroximately 63,700 persons--or about 10% of the City 
Boston's population. This figure is down just under 
: percent since 1960, following a more than 4% decline 
ing the 1950's, indicating that Allston-Brighton's 
)ulation has stabilized. Although Boston's population 
also been levelling off, the City's population dropped 
the much higher rate of 8% during the sixties to 
1,000 persons in 1970. 

The greatest population changes in Allston-Brighton 
e in North Allston where the population decreased 
15% to 4,000 persons and in Oak Square where the 

)ulation increased by about 23% to 6,900 persons (See 

>le 1). 

Age Characteristics (See Tables 2 and 3) 

While the age composition of Allston-Brighton is 
ilar to that of Boston in terms of adult population, 
Jiffers sharply from the City in terms of population 
ler twenty-five. 

Less than one sixth of Allston-Brighton's population 
inder 15 years of age compared to nearly one quarter 

the City of Boston. Apartment oriented South 
ston (with just 5% in this age bracket) and Cleveland 
cle (with 6%) have the lowest number of children in 

District. The highest concentrations of children in 
ston-Brighton. The highest concentrations of persons 
this age group (15-24) are found in the sub areas where 
versities are located: North Harvard (Harvard 
iversity) 44%; South Allston (Boston University) 42%; 
I Cleveland Circle (Boston College) 30%. 

Table 3 indicates how university expansion in the 
: decade has affected changes in the population 
keup of these areas. In South Allston the percentage 
persons under 25 years of age grew from only 24% 
1960 to 47% in 1970. In North Harvard this age group 
reased from 41% in 1960 to 59% in 1970. Cleveland 
cle increased its youth population to a lesser degree 
m 23% in 1960 to 36% in 1970. 

Among those affected most by the influx of 
dents m Allston-Brighton have been the elderly, 
hough persons of retirement age in the District have 
reased during the past decade, they do not necessarily 
J in the same areas that they did in 1960. Despite 

increase in student population, Cleveland Circle 
itinues to have the highest proportion of senior 
izens with 23%. However in South Allston where 
ston University is located, the elderly population 



dropped from 19% in 1960 to 15% in 1970. Meanwhile 
Brighton Center and Aberdeen, which had relatively few 
elderly in 1960, have experienced substantial increases 
since that time to the extent that nearly one fifth of 
the population in these areas is 65 or over. 

3. Family Income (See Table 4) 

In terms of family income, Allston-Brighton, with 
a median of $6,300, ranked above the average ($5,700) 
for the City of Boston in 1960. In general, income rises 
from east to west in the District with North Harvard, 
South Allston and Brighton Center about equal to the 
City median. Outlying sections like Oak Square ($7,400) 
and Aberdeen ($6,800) were substantially higher. 

Slightly more than 11% of Allston-Brighton s 
families earned less than $3,000 in 1960, compared to 
17% for the City as a whole. While none of the census 
tract areas of the District had as high a percentage of 
poverty as the City, South Allston (with one of the 
highest concentrations of elderly population in the 
district, 19% in 1960) came closest with 16% of its 
families below the poverty line in 1960. 

4. Labor Force 

The above average income in Allston-Brighton is 
explained by the occupational breakdown shown on 
Table 5. Twenty-four percent (24%) of those working 
in 1960, were employed as professional technical, 
proprietors and 34% were in clerical and sales. Only 13% 
of the labor force were employed in the categories of 
private household, service, laborers. The predominance 
of professionals, businessmen and white collar workers 
is reflected in educational achievement of 
Allston-Brighton's population. Except for North Allston 
and North Harvard, the median number of school yeais 
completed by residents 25 years and older in all areas 
was 12.0 years or more in 1960, as compated to the 
city-wide median of 11.2 school years. 

5. Racial-Ethnic Composition 

In terms of the racial and ethnic composition of 
its population, Allston-Brighton is rather unique among 
the districts in the City, yet very much like the City 
as a whole. While most districts tend to be somewhat 
homogeneous (like predominantly Irish South Boston, 
predominantly Italian East Boston, predominantly Black 
Roxbury, etc.), Allston-Brighton's population, like that 
of the City, is heterogeneous and is well represented by 



TABLE 1 



ALLSTON-BRIGHTON: Population Change, 1960-1970 



Census 
Tract Area 



Pop. 
1960 



Pop. % % 

1970 change change 

1950-1960 1960-1970 



North Allston 
(Y-1) (1) 



4,700 



4,000 -14% 



-15% 



North Harvard 
(Y-2) (8) 



7,500 



8,400 -13% 



+^2% 



South Allston 
(Y-3A) (7) 



9,800 



9,700 -14% 



1% 



Brighton Center 
(Y-3B) (6) 



9,400 



9,300 -h33% 



1% 



Faneuil 
(Y-4) (2) 



9,800 



9,300 + 8% 



- 5% 



Oak Square 
(Y-5A) (3) 



5,600 



6,900 + 2% 



+23% 



Aberdeen 
(Y-5B) (4) 



8,400 



8,300 -10% 



1% 



Cleveland Circle 
(Y-5C) (5) 



9,100 



7,800 -13% 



-14% 



Total 

Allston-Brighton 



64,200 63,700 



4% 



1% 



City of Boston 



698,100 641,100 -13% 



8% 



Source: U. S. Census of Population, 1960, 1970. 



TABLE 2 



ALLSTON-BRIGHTON: Age Characteristics of the Population, 1970 



Census Tract Area 



under 15 15-24 



25-34 



35-64 



65+ 



North Allston 
(Y-1) (1) 

North Harvard 
(Y-2) (8) 

South Allston 
(Y-3A) (7) 

Brighton Center 
(Y-3B) (6) 

Faneuil 
(Y-4) (2) 

Oak Square 
(Y-5A) (3) 

Aberdeen 
(Y-5B) (4) 

Cleveland Circle 
(Y-5C) (5) 



26% 



15% 



5% 



18% 



24% 



22% 



13% 



6% 



19% 



44% 



42% 



24% 



21% 



17% 



27% 



30% 



13% 



14% 



17% 



13% 



13% 



15% 



13% 



17% 



31% 



20% 



21% 



27% 



30% 



32% 



28% 



24% 



11% 



7% 



15% 



18% 



12% 



14% 



19% 



23% 



TOTAL 

Allston-Brighton 
City of Boston 



16% 
24% 



28% 
22% 



14% 

12% 



27% 
29% 



15% 
12% 



Source: U. S. Census of Population, 1970. 




TABLE 3 



ALLSTON-BRIGHTON: Youth and Elderly Population, 1960-1970 



Census Tract Area 



under 25 
1960 1970 



65 + 
1960 1970 



North Allston 
(Y-1) (1) 



43% 45% 



11% 11% 



North Harvard 
(Y-2) (8) 



41% 59% 



10% 7% 



South Ailston 
(Y-3A) (7) 



24% 47% 



19% 15% 



Brighton Center 
(Y-3B) (6) 

Faneuil 
(Y-4) (2) 

Oak Square 
(Y-5A) (2) 

Aberdeen 
(Y-5B) (4) 

Cleveland Circle 
(Y-5C) (5) 



45% 42% 



42% 45% 



47% 39% 



33% 40% 



23% 36% 



10% 18% 



10% 12% 



11% 14% 



14% 19% 



20% 23% 



TOTAL 

Allston-Brighton 
City of Boston 



37% 44% 



40% 46% 



13% 15% 



12% 12% 



f'U BLIC 



TABLE 4 



ALLSTON-BRIGHTON: Family Income, 1960 



Total 
Number of 
Families 



Families with 
Income under 
$3,000 



Median 
Family 
Income 



% 



North Allston 
(Y-1) (1) 

North Harvard 
(Y-2) (8) 

South Allston 
(Y-3A) (7) 

Brighton Center 
(Y-3B) (6) 

Faneuil 
(Y-4) (2) 

Oak Square 
(Y-5A) (3) 

Aberdeen 
(Y-5B) (4) 

Cleveland Circle 
(Y-5C) (5) 



1,200 



1,660 



2,700 



2,210 



2,540 



1,450 



2,280 



2,760 



160 13% 



210 13% 



420 



320 



210 



80 



240 



280 



16% 



14% 



8% 



6% 



11% 



10% 



$6,300 



5,700 



5,900 



5,700 



6,600 



7,400 



6,800 



6,400 



TOTAL 

Allston-Brighton 
City of Boston 



16,800 



164,220 



1,900 11% 



27,360 17% 



6,300 
5,700 



Source: U. S. Census of Population, 1960. 

NOTE: Data on family income from the 1970 Census will be available in Spring, 1972. 



TABLE 5 

ALLSTON-BRIGHTON: Occupation of Persons in The Labor Force, 1960 



Occupation 



Allston-Brighton 
Number % 



City of Boston 
Number % 



Professional, technical 
managers, officials, proprietors 

Clerical and sales 

Craftsmen and foremen 

Operatives 

Private household, service, 
laborers 

Occupation not reported 



7,300 
10,300 
3,000 
3,900 



24% 
34% 
10% 
13% 



3,800 13% 
1,600 6% 



49,100 
77,400 
32,400 
52,200 



17% 
27% 
11% 
18% 



50,100 17% 



27,100 10% 



TOTAL 



30,000 100% 



288,200 100% 



Source: U. S. Census of Population, 1960 



NOTE: Data on the Labor Force from the 1970 Census will be available in Spring, 1972. 



( p O B L I C j 



iriety of racial and ethnic groups. 

Although 1970 census figures for ethnic 
acteristics are not yet available, recent surveys 
cate that sonne changes in ethnic composition of the 
ulation have occurred in the District during the past 
years. 

According to the 1960 census (see Table 6), the 
Jominant ethnic group was the Irish, which comprised 
-e than 20% of the populations of Oak Square and 
leuil. Other major ethnic groups were the Canadians, 
3 were distributed throughout the District and 
dominated the North Harvard area; the 
5so-Americans, who represented one fifth or more of 
population in Cleveland Circle and Aberdeen; and 
Italians, who were concentrated in North Allston. 

While statistics for the Jewish population are not 
ivided in the federal census, recent surveys indicate 
t Allston-Brighton ranks second in the City to the 
ttapan-Franklin District in population belonging to 
s ethnic group. Approximately 1 1 ,000 persons or more 
in one-fourth of the entire Jewish population in 
ston, presently live in Allston-Brighton. 

The number of Chinese and Spanish speaking people 
Allston-Brighton, negligible in 1960, appears to have 
;reased greatly during the past ten years. Recent 
imates indicate that the present Chinese population 
the District is approximately 1,000 persons or about 
% of the entire Chinese population in the City of 
iston. The Spanish speaking population in 
Iston-Brighton, consisting mostly of Cubans, is 
limated now at nearly 4,000. 

Allston-Brighton's black population, virtually 
n-existent in 1960, is now approximately 1,200 or 
5% of the total population of the district with the 
jhest concentrations in Brighton Center and North 
irvard. (See Table 7). 

Summary 

The minimal decrease in population, during the past 
1 years, indicates a stabilization trend in 
Iston-Brighton. Significant population shifts from one 
b-area to another are apparent in the commercially 
iented North Allston population decrease, and the 
bstantial population increase in residential Oak Square, 
le age composition is diversified and comparable to 
her City of Boston districts with the exception of the 



higher percentage of under twenty-five in sub-areas near 
universities. The above-average income and educational 
achievement of the population is related to the high 
incidence of professional, business and white collar 
worker in the District. The racial-ethnic compositon has 
become more heterogeneous during the past ten years 
with the influx of families from minority groups notably 
Cubans and Chinese. 

C. LAND USE AND ZONING 

The land uses present in Allston-Brighton are 
similar to those found looking at the City as a whole. 
The District contains a variety of residential and 
institutional areas as well as areas zoned for industrial 
and commercial activity. 

1. Existing Land Use (See Map 4) 

a. Commercial Activity 

About 180 acres of land in 
Allston-Brighton are devoted to commercial 
activity (See Table 8). For the most part these 
uses are located along transportation corridors 
and at major intersections, with older 
established concentrations of local business at 
Harvard Street, Union Square, Brighton Center, 
Oak Square, Cleveland Circle and Washington 
Street. Newer shopping areas offering ample 
parking and discount merchandising are located 
on Western Avenue and Soldiers Field Road. 
While office uses serving the local community 
are interspersed throughout the older 
commercial areas, new one and two-story 
buildings have been constructed in recent years 
on Soldiers Field Road along the Charles River. 

b. Industrial Uses 

While industrial activities occupy less 
land (only 150 acres) than any other major 
land use in Allston-Brighton, these uses 
constitute 10% of the total industrial acreage 
in the City and are concentrated almost 
entirely in the North Allston area along the 
Massachusetts Turnpike and the Penn Central 
Railroad. Wholesale commercial areas are 
located along portions of the major 
transportation corridors of Commonwealth 
Avenue, North Beacon Street, Cambridge 




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ALLSTON BRIGHTON 

LAND USE 




Legend 

Residential 

Commercial 

Industrial 

Institutional 
Open Space 



TABLE 7 



ALLSTQN-BRIGHTON: Racial Characteristics, 1970 





Total 

Pom 1 latinn 

■ W|.JLi la LI 1 


% 

Whitp 
WW 1 1 1 Lt; 


% 
iMcyi u 


% 


IMnrth Alktnn 
(Y-1) (1) 




QP 7°/. 


.o /o 


.0/0 


N n rth H arvarri 

(Y-2) (8) 




Q'^ 4% 


O.D /O 


%5.U /o 


*^niith Alktnn 

O ^ U LI 1 r \ 1 1 o LUI 1 

(Y-3a) (7) 


Q 7?0 


Qfi fi% 

c?U.U /o 


1 9% 


9 9% 


R r inhtnn Opntpr 

U 1 lUI 1 LUI 1 V_/ 1 1 Ld 

(Y-3b) (6) 


Q 980 


Q4 1% 
1 /o 


T 7% 
o. / /o 


9 9% 


Fanpi I i 1 

1 CI I 1^ U 1 I 

(Y-4) (2) 


9,250 


97.8% 


1 4% 


.o /o 


Oak Square 
(Y-5a) (3) 


6,870 


98.7% 


.3% 


1 .0% 


Aberdeen 
(Y-5b) (4) 


8,330 


95.7% 


.8% 


3.5% 


Cleveland Circle 
{Y-5c) (5) 


7,840 


96.4% 


1 .8% 


1 .8% 


Allston-Brighton 


63,700 


95.9% 


1 .8% 


2.3% 


City of Boston 


641,070 


81.9% 


16.3% 


1 .8% 



Source: U. S. Census of Population, 1970 



TABLE 8 
ALLSTON-BRIGHTON: 



Land Use 





ALLSTON-BRIGHTON 


BOSTON 




Land Use Category 


Acres 


Percent 


Acres 


Percent 


Residential 


Q9n 


O 1 /o 


9,400 


29% 


Transportation 

Roads/Parking 


780 


26% 


8,550 


26% 


Institutional 


580 


20% 


6,600 


20% 


Open Space 


360 


12% 


4,380 


13% 


Commercial 


180 


6% 


2,230 


7% 


Industrial 


150 


5% 


1,500 


5% 


Total 


2,970 


100% 


32,660 


100% 



Source; BRPP: Comprehensive Land Use Inventory, 1963. (unpublished data) 



Street and Western Avenue, North Beacon Street, 
Cambridge Street and Western Avenue. Often both 
industrial and wholesaling uses are located adjacent to 
local businesses and residences creating an incompatible 
mixture of land uses in the North Allston and North 
Harvard portions of the District. 

c. Institutions 

Institutions, such as universities, hospitals and public 
facilities take up nearly 600 acres or nearly one fifth of 
the total land area in Allston-Brighton. Together with 
offices, indii'.,tries, and highways, institutions - particularly 
those of higher learning • occupy nearly all of the land 
having direct uccess to the community's four and one half 
mile water frontage along the Charles River. 

d. Open Space 

With 12% (360 acres) of its land devoted to public 
open space, Allston-Brighton is about on a par with the 
City as a whole. However, the M DC-operated Charles 
River Reservation (104 acres) and Chestnut Hill Reservoir 
(129 acres) constitute nearly two thirds of this total. Since 
both facilities are situated at the periphery of the district, 
not immediately accessible to local neighborhoods, 
Allston-Brighton's ranking in terms of neighborhood parks 
and playgrounds is substantially below the norm for the 
City. 

e. Land Devoted to Transportation 

Similar to the City as a whole, more than one fourth 
of Allston-Brighton's acreage is consumed by 
transportation uses. In both cases, more land is devoted 
to such uses as streets, highways, railroads, and freight 
yards, than to any other type of use, except residential 
uses. The section most affected by these uses in 
Allston-Brighton is North Harvard. The Boston and 
Albany yards and the Massachusetts Turnpike ramps form 
a wedge obscurring the North Harvard community from 
both visual and physical access for almost one mile along 
one of the most attractive segments of the Charles River 
water frontage. 

f. Areas Devoted to Residential Use 

In comparison to the rest of the City, 
Allston-Brighton has proportionately more land devoted 
to residential use (31%) than other areas. However, as 
indicated above, the prime areas of the community are 
taken up by non-residential uses. The residential 



area straddling the North Allston and North Han 
census tract areas suffers most from this unfortut 
allocation of land in the community. Sandwiched betw 
the Massachusetts Turnpike, the Boston and Albany ya 
Harvard University, and a wide variety of businesses 
industries, this segment of the community is effecti' 
cut off not only from the rest of Allston-Brighton, 
from the rest of the City as well. 

2. Zoning (See Map 5) 

A comparison between the zoning and land 
maps of Allston-Brighton indicates that the zoning c 
has done little to alleviate the land use probl 
discussed in the land use section above. Origin 
prepared in 1924, the zoning map generally followed 
pattern of land use that had already developed by ■ 
time. Although the code was revised in 1965, 
essential pattern of the previous code was 
substantially changed. Perhpas to do otherwise wc 
have created undue hardships on businesses and indust 
as well as land investors and homeowners in the Disti 
However, in legalizing the existing pattern of land 
the code perpetuated the problems inherent in 
juxtaposition of incompatible land uses. Further 
encouraged the tendency for land users with finan 
means to dominate prime land even when such me 
were not used to develop the land for the highest 
best use. 

Many of these problems, perhaps, may be resol 
simply through corrective changes in the zor 
designations for Allston-Brighton, while others r 
require planning programs involving community effi 
and public support. 

3. Summary 

This section has discussed the land use patterr 
Allston-Brighton in general terms. While Allston-Brigh 
mirrors the City in terms of the variety of land i 
found in it, the configuration of these uses often 
at the heart of physical, economic and social probli. 
affecting the district. For example: 

The proximity of incompatible uses is lar( 
responsible for deteriorating housing condition: 
many parts of the community, particularly Nc 
Harvard and North Allston. The fact 1 
institutions, offices, industries and highways occi 
most of the land having access to the Charles R' 
means the community's residents are unable to t 



ZONING MAP 




full advantage of Allston-Brighton's greatest 
amenity. 

Since two-thirds of Allston-Brighton's open 
space is located at the periphery of the District, 
many of the local neighborhoods are inadequately 
served by parks and recreation facilities. 

More specific information concerning land use 
ems may be found in the following sections of this 
t: Transportation, Economic Characteristics, 
Tiunity Facilities, Neighborhood Areas Description, 
Major Problems and Issues. 



Building Conditions 

As indicated on Map 6 conditions of both 
lential and non-residential buildings in 
ton-Brighton generally range from fair to good with 
Br conditions more prevalent in the western portions 
ie District. Small pockets of severe deterioration are 
ted throughout the northern sections. Much of this 
rioration has resulted from the conflicting land use 
erns (industrial, commercial and residential uses all 
ted in close proximity to one another) which 
late the zoning code. 

While inappropriate mixtures of land use often 
luce blighting building conditions in 
ton-Brighton, more often than not, the uses which 
sr the most are the residential rather than the 
•residential uses. Houses and apartment complexes 
slighted by the combination of noise, dust and heavy 
Fic generated by commercial and industrial activities, 
veil as neglect. The highest degree of substandard 
sing is found in Brighton Center, North Harvard and 
th Allston areas, which together accounted for 
ly three quarters of the community's deteriorated 

dilapidated units in 1960. (See Table 10 in next 
ion). 

The highest concentrations of deteriorated 
imercial properties are found in the neighborhood 
aping areas of North Harvard, North Allston and 
ihton Center. Lacking sufficient parking and 
ansion space, these commercial areas contrast sharply 
n the newly constructed shopping centers on Western 
nue and Soldiers' Field Road in terms of efficiency 

conditions. Blighted industrial structures are located 



particularly in the vicinity of Rugg Road and Everett 
Street. However, these structures appear to have 
deteriorated more from age and obsolescence than from 
other causes. 



E. Housing 

The U. S. Census and BRA field surveys form the 
basis for most of the information pertaining to housing 
in this report. As indicated earlier, the Census material 
for 1970 is not fully complete. Thus, statements made 
below about the present housing situation in 
Allston-Brighton are based partially on estimates and 
field surveys. 

1. Number of Units (See Table 9) 

According to the 1970 Census, 
Allston-Brighton contains nearly 25,500 units. 
While the City's housing stock decreased overall by 
3,400 units (1%) during the 1960's, the number 
of units in Allston-Brighton increased by 2,000 or 
8%. Brighton Center and Oak Square alone 
accounted for more than half of the added housing 
units with a combined increase of 1,220 units. 

2. Housing Conditions (See Table 10) 

In contrast to the City overall, housing 
conditions in Allston-Brighton are generally very 
good. In 1960, 95% of the units in the District 
were sound compared to 81% for the City. While 
recent surveys indicate that the level of 
deterioration has increased in several areas 
(especially North Harvard and North Allston) in 
recent years, the rate of deterioration for the most 
part does not appear to have been as great as in 
other sections of the City. It should be noted, 
however, that Allston-Brighton's relatively high 
ranking among the Districts of the City does not 
mean that housing conditions in the community 
are as good as they might be. Even using 1960 
figures, the area contains over 1,250 deteriorated 
or dilapidated units. 

3. Occupancy 

Although Allston-Brighton has 

proportionately fewer owner occupied units (17%) 
than the City as a whole (27%), the subareas within 



TABLE 9 

ALLSTON-BRIGHTON: Number of Housing Units, 1960-1970 



Number Units Change 
Census Tract Area 1960 1970 Net Change 1960-70 



North Allston 1,370 1,310 - 60 - 5% 

(Y-1) (1) 

North Harvard 2,360 2,460 -i- 100 -t- 4% 

(Y-2) (8) 

South Allston 4,940 5,400 + 460 -i- 9% 

(Y-3A) (7) 

Brighton Center 2,930 3,560 + 630 -1-22% 

(Y-3B) (6) 

Faneuil (Y-4) (2) 2,830 3,040 -(-210 + 7% 



Oak Square 1,590 2,180 -i- 590 -i-37% 
(Y-5A) (3) 

Aberdeen 3,030 3,180 -1-150 + 5% 
(Y-5B) (4) 

Cleveland Circle 4,480 4,340 - 140 - 3% 
(Y-5C) 



Allston-Brighton 23,530 25,470 +^,940 + 8% 

City of Boston 238,820 235,410 -3,410 - 1% 



Source: U. S. Census of Housing, 1960 and 1970. 



TABLE 10 

ALLSTON-BRIGHTON: Housing Conditions, 1960 



Census 
Tract Area 



Total Number of 
Dwelling Units 



Deteriorating & Dilapidated 
Dwelling Units 



Number 



Percent 



North Allston 
(Y-1) (1) 



1,370 



250 



18% 



North Harvard 
(Y-2) (8) 



2,360 



320 



14% 



South Allston 
(Y-3A) (7) 



4,940 



60 



1% 



Brighton Center 
(Y-3B) (6) 



2,930 



360 



12% 



Faneuil 
(Y-4) (Z) 



2,830 



110 



4% 



Oak Square 
(Y-5A) (3) 



1,590 



80 



5% 



Aberdeen 
(Y-5B) (4) 



3,030 



70 



2% 



Cleveland Circle 
(Y-5C) (5) 



4,480 



10 



1% 



Allston-Brighton 23,530 1,260 5% 

City of Boston 238,820 49,830 19% 



SOURCE: U. S. Census of Housing, 1960 

NOTE: Data on Housing Conditions was not included in the 1970 Census. 



the District vary considerably. 

They range from Oak Square with 40% owner 
occupancy to Cleveland Circle and South Allston with 
only 5% and 4% respectively. As might be expected, this 
variation is reflected in the type of units found in each 
of the subareas. Areas ranking highest in terms of owner 
occupancy rank lowest in terms of apartment houses. 
Only 8% of the units in Oak Square are contained in 
structures having five units or more. Similarly, areas 
ranking lowest in owner occupancy rank highest in 
apartment buildings. Thus, over 80% of the units in 
Cleveland Circle and South Allston are located in 
apartment developments. (See Table 11) 

4. Relation of Population to Housing (See Table 12) 

As indicated above, nearly 2,000 units were added 
to Allston-Brighton's housing stock during the 1960's. 
This increase resulted not only from the construction of 
new units, but from the conversion of larger older single 
family homes into multi-unit structures. It contrasts 
noticeably with the drop in population in the District 
of approximately 800 persons during the same period. 

The disparity between the housing gain and 
population loss has meant that the number of 
overcrowded units has gone down slightly (from 5% in 
1960 to 4% in 1970 in the District compared to the 
City's 7% for both years). 

Only Aberdeen and South Allston, which had 
increases in student population, experienced increases in 
overcrowded units. Both went from 2% in 1960 to 3% 
in 1970. 

Perhaps more significant, is that in 1960, four 
subareas in Allston-Brighton had higher rates of 
overcrowding than the City: North Allston (11%); North 
Harvard (8%); Brighton Center (10%) and Faneuil (9%). 
Now only North Allston with 8% exceeds the City 
average. The others are all 6%. 

5. Age of Housing (See Table 13) 

While Allston-Brighton's housing stock, for the 
most part, was built later than housing in other areas 
of the City, 84% of its units pre-date World War II. 
Virtually no units have been built in the North Allston 
and Cleveland Circle areas since 1940. The greatest 
concentrations of newer units are located in the 
Brighton Center, Oak Square and Faneuil areas. About 

one third of the units in these areas combined were 



one third of the units in these areas combined wel 
constructed since that time. j 

6. Public Housing (See Table 14) 

Allston-Brighton contains approximately 1,23 
units occupied by public housing tenants. Three fourti 
of these house families, while the remainder houi 
elderly couples and individuals. Nearly all of the famili( 
live in two large housing projects (Commonwealth, 6El 
units, and Faneuil, 260 units). More than half of t\ 
elderly, however, live in units scattered throughout th 
community which have been leased for them on th 
private market by the Boston Housing Authority. 

7. Rents (See Table 15) 



Rents in Allston-Brighton are exceeded only b 
those in Back Bay-Beacon Hill in the entire City. Whi 
more than half the units in Boston rented for less tha. 
$100 in 1970, about eighty percent of the units i 
Allston-Brighton rented for more than $100. Most uni' 
in the district (68%) are in the $100-$200 range. 

Units with the highest rentals are found in Oa' 
Square where over one third rent for more than $206 
Moreover, of 218 units renting for more than $300 i 
the District, more than half are located in Oak Squari 

North Allston, with 60% of its units renting for le! 
than $100 per month, is the only area in the Distric 
with rents as low as the City average. 

8. Value of Owner Occupied Units (See Table 16), 

Housing values in Allston-Brighton are generall 
slightly higher than other parts of the City. Oak Squar 
and Aberdeen, which together account for more than on* 
third of the owner occupied units in the District, haw 
the highest valued homes. More than one third of th 
homes in both areas have values of twenty-five thousar» 
dollars or more. 

Brighton Center, with sixty-four per cent of its unit 
valued between fifteen thousand dollars and twenty-fivj 
thousand dollars is typical of the kind of housing thai 
is generally found in all parts of the District. ' 

The highest proportions of modestly priced honr^i 
are located in North Allston and North Harvard wher 
nearly ninety percent of the units are valued und|! 
twenty-five thousand dollars. 1 



TABLE 11 



Allston-Brighton: Housing Occupancy and Type, 1970 

Total Owner One Units in 2 Units in 5 

Housing Occupied Family 3 & 4 Unit or More Unit 

Units Units Homes Structures Structures 

Census Tract Area % % % % 



North Allston 
(Y-1) (1) 



1 ,306 35% 



12% 



81% 



7% 



North Harvard 
(Y-2) (8) 



3,017 21% 



11% 



50% 



39% 



South Allston 
(Y-3A) (7) 



2,179 4% 



2% 



16% 



82% 



Brighton Center 
(Y-3B) (6) 



3,180 16% 



8% 



31% 



61% 



Faneuil 
(Y-4) (2) 



4,112 37% 



14% 



70% 



16% 



Oak Square 
(Y-5A) (3) 



3,559 40% 



19% 



73% 



8% 



Aberdeen 
(Y-5B) (4) 



5,482 25% 



9% 



53% 



38% 



Cleveland Circle 
(Y-5C) (5) 



2,489 5% 



2% 



15% 



83% 



Allston-Brighton 
City of Boston 



25,324 19% 



232,448 27% 



8% 



15% 



41% 



50% 



51% 



35% 



Source: U. S. Census, 1960 



P O B L I C 



TABLE 12 

Allston-Brighton: Relation of Population to Housing, 1960-70 



Census Tract Area 



Total 
Housing 
Units 



Units With More Than 
1.01 Persons Per Room 
1960 1970 



North Allston 
(Y-1) (1) 



1,306 



11% 



8% 



North Harvard 
(Y-2) (8) 



2,489 



8% 



6% 



South Allston 
(Y-3a) (7) 



5,482 



2% 



3% 



Brighton Center 
(Y-3b) (6) 



3,559 



10% 



6% 



Faneuil 
(Y-4) (2) 



3,017 



9% 



6% 



Oak Square 
(Y-5a) (3) 



2,179 



5% 



5% 



Aberdeen 
(Y-5b) (4) 



3,180 



2% 



3% 



Cleveland Circle 
(Y-5c) (5) 



4,112 



2% 



2% 



Allston-Brighton 
Total 



25,324 



5% 



4% 



City of Boston 
Total 



232,448 



7% 



7% 



Source: U. S. Census, 1970 




TABLE 13 



ALLSTON-BRIGHTQN: Age of Housing 



Units Built 

Number of Before 1940 



Census Tract Area Units 1970 No. Percent 



North Allston 1,300 1,300 100% 

(Y-1) (1) 

North Harvard 2,500 2,300 91% 

(Y-2) (8) 

South Allston 5,400 4,900 90% 

(Y-3A) (7) 

Brighton Center 3,600 2,300 63% 

(Y-3B) (6) 

Faneuil 3,000 2,300 75% 

(Y-4) (2) 

Oak Square 2,200 1,500 66% 

(Y-5A) (3) 

Aberdeen 3,200 2,900 90% 

(Y-5B) (4) 

Cleveland Circle 4,300 4,200 97% 

(Y-5C) (5) 



Allston-Brighton 25,500 21,600 84% 

City of Boston 235,400 216,700 92% 



SOURCE: U.S. Census /fP^^^^^^^ 



TABLE 14 



ALLSTQN-BRIGHTON: Public Housing 



NAME 



NUMBER OF UNITS 
ELDERLY FAMILY TOTAL 



Allston-Brighton Units 
in Projects 

Commonwealth (Fidelis Way) 

Chestnut Hill 

Faneuil 

Washington 

Leased Units 



60 
80 

180 



650 
260 

10 



650 
60 

260 
80 

190 



Total Public Housing Units 
in Allston-Brighton 



320 



910 



1,230 



City of Boston Units 
in Projects 

Leased Units 



1,200 13,840 15,040 

580 1,640 2,200 



Total Public Housing Units 
in City of Boston 



1,780 



15,480 17,260 



SOURCE: Boston Housing Authority, 1970 



TABLE 15 





Allston-Bright 


on: Contract 


Rent of Rental 


Units, 1970 




Census Tract Area 


Total # 

Rental 

Units 


under $100 


$100-149 


$150-199 


$200-1- 


North Allston 
(Y-1) (1) 


810 


60% 


29% 


4% 


7% 


North Harvard 
(Y-2) (8) 


1,830 


24% 


46% 


19% 


11% 


South Allston 
(Y-3A) (7) 


4,970 


13% 


46% 


28% 


13% 


Brighton Center 
(Y-3B) (6) 


2,890 


20% 


34% 


40% 


6% 


Faneuil 
(Y-4) (2) 


1,800 


29% 


47% 


20% 


4% 


Oak Square 
(Y-5A) (3) 


1,250 


16% 


38% 


11% 


35% 


Aberdeen 
(Y-5B) (4) 


2,300 


17% 


44% 


29% 


10% 


Cleveland Circle 
(Y-5C) (5) 


3,760 


5% 


49% 


33% 


13% 


Allston-Brighton 
Total 


19,590 


20% 


44% 


24% 


12% 


City of Boston 
Total 


158,392 


52% 


30% 


12% 


6% 



Source: U. S. Census, 1970. 



TABLE 16 

Allston-Brighton: Value of Owner-Occupied Units 1970 



Census Tract Area 



Total 
Owner 
Occupied 
Units 



Under 
15,000 



15- 
24,999 



25- 
35,999 



35 + 



North Allston 
(Y-1) (1) 



125 



29% 



58% 



12% 



1% 



North Harvard 
(Y-2) (8) 



205 



33% 



56% 



8% 



3% 



South Allston 
(Y-3a) (7) 



40 



11% 



56% 



29% 



3% 



Brighton Center 
(Y-3b) (6) 



220 



19% 



■ 64% 



14% 



3% 



Faneuil 
(Y-4) (2) 



400 



14% 



59% 



23% 



4% 



Oak Square 
(Y-5a) (3) 



365 



9% 



57% 



27% 



7% 



Aberdeen 
(Y-5b) (4) 



220 



14% 



51% 



28% 



7% 



Cleveland Circle 
(Y-5c) (5) 



35 



0% 



43% 



30% 



27% 



Allston-Brighton 
Total 



1,610 



17% 



57% 



21% 



5% 



City of Boston 
Total 



27,658 



25% 



55% 



16% 



4% 



SOURCE: U. S. Census, 1970 



P O B L I C ' 



Summary 

Allston-Brighton's housing stock, which increased 
1 ,000 units since 1960, is generally in sound condition 

pt for some pockets of deteriorating housing near 
cr commercial and industrial areas. However, 
c diess of condition, with more than 80% older than 
i/ears of age, housing units in most parts of the 

rict show signs of age. 

Allston-Brighton tends to be more tenant oriented 
other areas of the City, although several fine, low 
ity neighborhoods with high proportions of owner 
ipied units exist in the western sectors of the District. 

While overcrowding is not a significant problem in 
district. North Allston continues to have a higher 
entage of overcrowded units than the City norm. 

Despite an obvious need for low income housing 
the elderly in Allston-Brighton the vast majority of 

ic housing units in the District were built for families 
I children. 

While rents in Allston-Brighton are generally higher 
1 in other areas of the City, housing accommodations 
available to fit most picketbooks. Similarly, home 
ers in the District can find a broad range of housing 
;s ranging from under $15,000 to $35,000 and above 
1 units in the $15,000 to $20,000 range 
lominating. 



TRANSPORTATION 

Transportation has greatly influenced the 
/elopment of Allston-Brighton. The extension of 
mmonwealth Avenue during the 1880's and the 
^elopment of the Cleveland Circle and Watertown 
jare trolly car lines, let to the rapid growth of 
idential areas in Allston-Brighton. Likewise, the 
Iroad had a strong influence on the location and 
iwth of manufacturing and wholesale firms in the 
■rth Harvard and North Allston sections of the 
strict. Most recently, the construction of the 
issachusetts Turnpike has led to newer patterns of 
id use and circulation. 

1 . Existing Street System 

The existing street system of the 
Allston-Brighton areas has not developed according 



to a plan. Streets are not differentiated (design-wise) by 
their functions. (See Map 7) For example, traffic desiring 
to pass through this area without stopping is mixed with 
local traffic, creating congestion at a number of 
intersections. Few continuous streets exist in the area 
and those that do exist are of inadequate width. 
Typically, they fail to carry the concentrated traffic 
volumes that should be using them. 

Traffic from the western part of the metropolitan 
area to and from downtown Boston is carried by the 
Turnpike, Soldiers' Field Road, Commonwealth Avenue, 
Cambridge Street, and Washington Street. The only major 
north-south arterials are from Cleveland Circle along 
Chestnut Hill Avenue and Market Street and Harvard 
Avenue-North Harvard Street. Cross-town and some of 
the north-south traffic is forced on the existing east-west 
radial arterials as well as major business streets and minor 
arterials, compounding the deficiencies of traffic 
movement on the few continuous radial streets. The 
inadequacy of traffic control also tends to intensify 
congestion at many intersections along these streets. Map 
8 shows the major problem areas that were identified 
to have a need for immediate improvements. 

a. Problem Areas 

Commonwealth Avenue. MBTA-operated 
trolley cars in the median and buses in the roadway 
of Commonwealth Avenue hinder traffic flow and 
are hazardous to both motorists and pedestrians. 
Analysis of accident data indicates a high number 
of accidents at Boston University Bridge, Brighton 
Avenue, Harvard Avenue, Allston Street, and 
Washington Street. Lack of an exclusive left turn lane 
at the intersections of St. Mary's, St. Paul and 
Babcock Streets causes peak hour congestion and 
presents a definite hazard. The signal control system 
along Commonwealth Avenue between Brighton and 
Chestnut Hill Avenues is inadequate to facilitate the 
optimum movement of traffic. 

Cambridge Street . Cambridge Street provides a 
direct link between Brighton Center and the City 
of Cambridge, serves as a direct access to the 
Massachusetts Turnpike and is an important bus 
transit route. The highest traffic volume on 
Cambridge Street occurs between North Harvard 
Street and Harvard Avenue. Heavy left turn 
movements at Harvard Avenue create a conflict with 
inbound Cambridge Street movement. 



- 

EXISTING STREET SYSTEM 




Collectors mmmmmh 

Local Streets ■■■'yfy^^'^: 



STREET SYSTEM PROBLEM AREAS 




Legend 

I" Commonwealth Avenue 

2- Cambridge Street 

3- Harvord Avenue 

4- North Harvard Street 

5- Union Square 

6- Sparhawk- Warren 
Intersection 

7- Brighton Center 



9 

PUBLrC TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES 




CO[\/lEViERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL AREAS 




Union Square. Traffic congestion is much more 
pronounced in Union Square. Two bus lines terminating 
in this square require U-turn movements within the 
intersection, creating congestion and potential hazards. 
Congestion is increased by the weaving movements of 
westbound traffic from Cambridge Street and Brighton 
Avenue. Double and triple parking along the northern side 
of the square further aggravates the traffic circulation 
problem in the area. 

Sparhawk-Warren Intersection. The Sparhawk-Warren 
intersection with Cambridge Street has a high number of 
reported accidents. The right turn traffic lane (from 
Warren to Cambridge) is often wrongly used by two-way 
traffic, creating hazardous conditions for traffic 
movement along Warren Street. 

Brighton Center. Congestion in Brighton Center is 
attributed to the reduced right-of-way of Washington 
Street and to parking meters and cab stands at the 
Washington-Market Street intersection. 
Furthermore, commercial activity in Brighton Center 
hinders traffic movement through the area. The wide 
Washington-Winship intersection causes confusion, peak 
hour congestion and difficult pedestrian crossing. Police 
station parking interferes with west bound traffic on 
Cambridge Street. 

Harvard Avenue and North Harvard Street. Harvard 
Avenue and North Harvard Street connect Brookline 
Village with Cambridge Street, providing direct access to 
the Massachusetts Turnpike and the City of Cambridge. 
Harvard Avenue also serves as a major business street and 
as a transit route in the Brighton area. 

Traffic congestion along Harvard Avenue results 
primarily from the varying width of the roadway and 
parking on both sides. Since adequate loading is not 
provided, commercial vehicles must double-park, 
increasing traffic congestion. Traffic signals along Harvard 
Avenue could be better coordinated to improve traffic 
flow. 

b. Parking and Loading Facilities 

The transportation problem in Allston-Brighton is 
compounded by inadequate parking facilities for both 
business and residential areas. Since little off-street 
parking is provided, local businesses depend 
predominantly on curb parking, contributing to traffic 
congestion in areas such as Union Square, Harvard 
Avenue, Biighton Center . and Cleveland Circle. 



Furthermore, because of the lack of loading faciliti 
business and industrial areas, many commercial veh 
park on the street, aggravating traffic moven 
particularly on North' Beacon Street and Harvard Ave 



It 



1(1 



1 



i 



x 



The parking problem is just as severe in reside 
neighborhoods. A large number of apartment buildinc 
not provide adequate parking for the residents 
shortage of parking spaces is most acute in areas I 
high student populations. This highly mobile age gro 
a high incidence of automobile ownership often res 
in several automobiles per dwelling unit as compai 
less than one in other areas of Allston-Brii 
Consequently, parking needs are concentrated in 
where little off-street parking is provided and on 
parking is inadequate. 

2. Public Transportation 

Allston-Brighton is served by both trolley cars 
bus lines. (See Map 9) The "Green Line" trolley run 
in the median of Commonwealth Avenue from Bo 
College to Downtown is the most heavily used. How 
the service on this line is relatively poor and is expe 
to get worse if the Boston College bus service is redi 
as proposed. The operation of this trolley lin 
inefficient at unsignalized intersections where heavy 
turn traffic movements occur. Some of the passe 
loading platforms are too short to handle two 
trains, increasing their delay time. Occasionally accid 
have been caused by motorists at various locat 
especially where the trolley median is transferred f 
the center to the side of the roadway. 



Prior to June, 1969, the MBTA operated a sec 
"Green Line" trolley from Watertown to the Park Si 
Station. This line has been temporarily replaced by b 
operating between Watertown Square and Kenr 
Square, here passengers transfer to the subway 
continue downtown. 

Studies have been undertaken to compare the 
bus service with the former Watertown trolley 
MBTA accidents are running approximately one-thir 
what they were with the former trolley service w 
loaded and unloaded in the middle of the street, 
service is also more economical and additional street ( 
are now available for rush hour trips on the River; 
and Beacon trolley lines. More frequent rush hour 
service is offset by the inconvenience of transferring 
the subway trolley at Kenmore Station. While mc: 



muters on the Watertown line have expressed no 
rtisfaction with the bus service, a substantial number 
iders still prefer the former trolley service. 

The MBTA operates several bus lines in the District 
aiding convenient transportation to Cambridge, 
ertown, Roxbury and Brookline. As a complement 
:he subway, the MBTA provides express bus service 
n Oak Square to Downtown Boston via the Turnpike. 

Railroads 

The Penn Central Railroad tracks run adjacent to 
Massachusetts Turnpike. Although this line carries 
ienger service between Boston and Albany and daily 
imuter service from Framingham to South Station, 
major function is to transport freight. The Beacon 
ds, located adjacent to the Allston-Cambridge ramps 
the Turnpike, is an important freight terminal where 
truck piggy-back transfer service is provided and 
ipment is repaired. 

If railroad freight service is not improved, the 
)ortance of the Beacon Yards and adjacent properties 
i railroad freight-truck terminal will dimish. However, 
h its proximity to the Turnpike, the area will also 
e the potential to serve as a wholesale distribution 
I trucking center. 

Summary 

Traffic congestion in Allston-Brighton results from 
)rly designed intersections, inadequate rights-of-way, 
iifferentiated movements (mixture of local and 
ough traffic), noncontinuous streets, poor traffic 
itrol, double parking, and inadequate loading facilities, 
jcific problems of the most congested areas have been 
ntified. The future of public transportation and 
road and terminal are not certain. 



ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS (See Map 10) 

1 . Commercial Areas 

The major shopping areas in Allston-Brighton 
include Union Square extending along Harvard 
Avenue and Brighton Avenue to Commonwealth 
Avenue, Western Avenue, Brighton Center, and 
Soldiers Field Road. Other smaller concentrations 
of commercial activity are Oak Square, Cleveland 



Circle, Washington Street, and Market Street. 

Many of these areas are plagued by deteriorated or 
obsolete structures, lack of off-street parking and poor 
traffic circulation. Long standing community 
establishments have been replaced in many areas by 
dating bars, drive-in restaurants, clothes boutiques, and 
other stores which cater to the increasing student 
population of Allston-Brighton. These establishments also 
attract young patrons from a wide area and add to the 
congestion of the area, particularly on evenings and 
weekends. This change is most evident along Harvard 
Avenue and in Union Square. With the loss of many of 
these facilities, a large segment of family and elderly 
population is inadequately served by commercial 
facilities. Auto sales and service stores along 
Commonwealth Avenue extend into Allston-Brighton 
along Brighton Avenue and North Beacon. The majority 
of sales and research offices are located along Soldiers 
Field Road. 

2. Industrial Areas 

Industrial activity in Allston-Brighton is confined to 
three general areas of North Harvard and North Allston. 

One area, located adjacent to the Allston ramps of 
the Massachusetts Turnpike, is primarily a truck terminal 
with modern tandem unloading facilities, storage and 
distribution yard. Related non-residential uses are 
encroaching upon the adjacent residential neighborhood. 

Another industrial area, north of the Turnpike 
between Everett and Antwerp Streets, is the location of 
the U. S. Steel Supply Company Ryerson Steel Company. 
Several buildings south of Western Avenue are now 
vacant. 

The third area is parallel to the Massachusetts 
Turnpike on the southern side. Firms in this area include 
a mixture of manufacturers and wholesalers. These firms 
suffer from poor access, since they are dependent upon 
business streets such as Cambridge and North Beacon 
Streets. Furthermore, interspersed residential areas 
inhibit expansion of existing industrial uses and suffer 
from environmental deficiencies. 

A recent city-wide survey of major manufacturing 
firms conducted by the Bo<;ton Economic Development 
and Industrial Commission revealed 



TABLE 17 

ALLSTON-BRIGHTON: Distribution Of Employment By Industry 



INDUSTRY ALLSTON-BRIGHTON BOSTON 

Food 49% 17% 

Apparel 0% 13% 

Printing 2% 18% 

Chemicals 3% 10% 

Leather 0% 6% 

Primary Metals 0% 3% 

Fabricated Metals 15% 4% 

Metal Machinery 9% 5% 

Electrical Machinery 16% 9% 

Precision Instruments 0% 3% 

Other 6% 1 2% 

100% 100% 



NOTE: Results based upon a questionnaire distributed to 60% of Boston firms, 
representing a corss-section of size and type of firms. Twenty-five firms, in 
Ailston-Brighton were included in the Study. 

SOURCE: Boston Economic Development Commission Survey, 1970. 



in comparison to the City as a whole, the industrial 
position shows some significant differences. For 
nple, the most important industries in the area based 
jemployment are food, electrical machinery and 
licated metals, while employment in the City is 
est in the printing, food and apparel industries. A 
parison of employment distribution is given in Table 
The survey also points out that the typical firm in 

City is slightly larger with an average of 125 
loyees compared to an average of 85 for firms in 
ton-Brighton. The fourteen largest firms in the area 
iloy almost four thousand people (See Table 18). 



COMMUNITY FACILITIES 

Allston Brighton, as other large districts of Boston, 
, a full range of public and private community 
ilities. These consist of schools, parks and recreation 
ilities, health centers, and public safety and service 
ilities. The major facilities located within 
ston-Brighton and programs provided by each are 
cribed below: 

1 . Schools 

a. Public Schools (See Map 11) . 

AllstonBrighton contains four 
elementary school districts: 

(1) Gardner (Gardner, Barrett, and 
Storrow) 

(2) Garfield (Garfield, Lyon, Oak 
Square and Winship) 

(3) Hamilton (Hamilton, Baldwin, and 
Hamilton Annex) 

(4) Jackson (Jackson, Commonwealth 
Colony, Washington-Allston, Taft 
Colony, and Kennedy Hospital 
Colony) 

The area is served by two junior high schools, 
Edison and Taft, and one senior high school. 
Barrett School is a special school for mentally 
handicapped children and Commonwealth School 
provides kindergarten classes only. 

Except for the increase in the number of 
pupils in the Hamilton District resulting from the 
closing of St. Gabriel's Parochial School in 
September, 1970, public elementary school 



enrollment in Allston-Brighton has remained steady ever 
the past several years rising less than 3% since 1968 to 
6,280 students. (See Table 19) 

Dispite expressed community concern that schools 
in Allston-Brighton are overcrowded, Boston School 
Committee figures indicate that enrollments are in fact 
well below rated safety capacities in all schools. 

Although the combined capacity of the public 
elementary schools in Allston-Brighton is 5,250, only 
3,600 pupils were enrolled in these schools in 1970, 
leaving over 1,600 seats unoccupied. Similarly, with seats 
for nearly 4,000 students, the secondary schools in the 
District had only 2,660 students enrolled during the same 
year (See Table 20). Combined, the public schools are 
operating at only 70% capacity. 

In terms of physical plant, Brighton has too long 
been ignored with regard to construction of new school 
buildings (See Table 21). The last elementary school 
constructed in the area (discounting Barrett Special 
School and the Commonwealth Colony) was 44 years 
ago. Interestingly, within the period 1924-1926, five of 
the ten regular elementary schools were erected. The 
other five are over fifty years old. However, 
Washington-Allston, Jackson, and Horace Mann School 
for the Deaf are to be consolidated in a new Horace 
Mann School to be constructed on the site of Jackson 
School. 

b. Parochial Schools (See Map 12). 

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston 
presently operates six schools in Allston-Brighton, having 
a combined enrollment of nearly 2,900 pupils. In 
contrast to the public schools in the area, the parochial 
schools are operating near enrollment capacity - 2,970 
(See Table 22). 

Over 60% of these students are elementary school 
pupils, all of whom reside in local neighborhoods. The 
other 40% consist of high school age students primarily 
from areas within Allston-Brighton, but partly from other 
sections of the City as well. 

The future of neighborhood parish schools is 
uncertain. For example, the 1970-71 school year saw the 
phasing out of St. Gabriel's School and a 25% cutback 
in St. Columbkille's School. The parochial schools must 
also deal with inadequate school buildings, all of which 
predate 1930 in original construction (See Table 23). 



TABLE 18 



MAP 
PES. 

1. 

2. 

3. 



NAME 

Adage Inc. 

Coco-Cola 
Bottling Co. 

Eagle Mattress 
Co. 

General Control 
Co. 



ALLSTON-BRIGHTON: Major Industries 

TYPE OF INDUSTRY 
Electrical Machinery (Computers) 
Food (Carbonated Beverages) 

Furniture (Mattresses & box springs) 

Electrical Machinery (Switches) 



5. General Electrical Machinery (Educational 

Electronic Labs and electronic products) 



6. Honeywell 

7. International 

Shoe Machinery 

8. H. A. Johnson 
Co. 

9. H. T. Johnson 
Co. 

10. H. F. Livermore 
Corp. 

11. Dorothy Muriel 
Bakery 

12. Pepsi-Cola 
Bottling Co. 

13. Ryerson Steel 



Electrical Machinery 

Apparel (Shoe machinery and 
supplies) 

Food 



Apparel (Women's Underwear) 



Apparel (Loom Supplies) 



Food (Bakery products) 



Food (Carbonated Beverages) 



Fabricated Metals (Steel and aluminum 
products) 



NO. OF 
EMPLOYEES 

200 

300 

100 

85 

300 

1,575 
175 

220 

70 
165 
190 

95 
150 



14. 



U. S. Steel 
Supply 



Fabricated Metals (Steel and aluminum 
products) 



100 

TOTAL 3,725 



SOURCE: 1968-69 Director of Manufacturers in Greater Boston, 
Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce 



PUBLIC SCHOOLS 




I" Baldwin 

2- Commonwealth (K) 

3- Gardner 

4- Garfield 

5- Hamilton 

6- Hamilton Annex 

7- Jackson 
8" Lyon 

9- OaK Square 

10- Storrow 
I ' Washington- Allston 
2- Winship 

^ Secondary 

13- Brighton High 

14 - Edison Junior High 

15-Taft Junior High 

(2) Special School 
16 - Barrett 



TABLE 19 

ALLSTON-BRIGHTON: 



Public School Enrollment 1968-1970 



Elementary Districts 
Garner 
Garfield 
Hamilton 



Jackson 



Total Elementary 



Capacity (1) 
1005 
1630 
1315 
1005 
4955 



Enrollment 
1968 1969 1970 



740 



775 



560 560 



940 850 



735 



1270 1225 1230 



755 (2) 



900 



3510 3410 3620 



Secondary Schools 

Edison Junior High (3) 
Taft Junior High (3) 
Brighton High 

Total Secondary 

GRAND TOTAL 



1350 
1200 
1435 
3985 
8850 



740 855 



560 540 



840 



565 



1320 1330 1255 



2620 2725 2660 



6130 6135 6280 



(11 



1970 Standards 



(2) Increase reflects absorption of St. Gabriels School; now Alexander 
Hamilton Annex. 

(3) The junior high service areas roughly correspond to the elementary 
districts: Edison is served by Garfield and Hamilton districts; Taft is fed 
by Gardner and Allston. 



SOURCE:Boston School Committee 



ALLSTON-BRIGHTON: Public School Capacity (1) 



SCHOOL CAPACITY 1970 ENROLLMENT 

Elementary Schools 

Gardner District 1005 735 

Gardner 600 525 

Barrett (2) 245 110 

Storrow 160 100 

Garfield Districts 1630 1230 



Garfield 510 465 

Lyon 280 230 

Oak Square 160 140 

Winship 680 395 

Hamilton District 1615 755 

Hamilton 600 280 

Baldwin 715 280 

Hamilton Annex 300 (3) 195 

Jackson District 1005 900 

Jackson 435 200 

Commonwealth (4) 80 50 

Washington-Aliston 400 235 

Taft Colony (5) 375 

Kennedy Hospital Colony 90 40 



TOTAL ELEMENTARY 5255 3620 

Secondary Schools 

Edison Junior High 1350 840 

Taft Junior High 1200 565 

Brighton High School 1435 1255 



TOTAL SECONDARY 3985 2660 



GRAND TOTAL 9240 6280 

(1) 1970 Standards 

(2) Special School 

(3) Estimate 

(4) Kindergarten Only 

(5) Shares facility with Taft Junior High School 



SOURCE:Boston School Committee 



TABLE 21 



ALLSTON-BRIGHTON: Public School Buildings 
SCHOOL YEAR BUILT YEAR REMODELED 



Elementary 
Baldwin 



Barrett 

Commonwealth 
Gardner 
Garfield 
Hamilton 

Hamilton Annex 

Jackson 

Lyon 

Oak Square 
Storrow 



1926 
1933 
1951 
1906 
1925 
1924 

NA (1) 

1924 

1914 

1894 

1926 



1930 (6 rm.) 



1924 (8 rm., 1 shop) 

1966 (8 rm., 1 office) 

1926 (4 rm.) 

1930 (8 rm.) 



1923 (2 rm.) 



Washington-Allston 1879 

Winship 1901 
Secondary 

Edison Junior High 1932 

Taft Junior High 1895 

Brighton High School 1930 

(1) Formerly St. Gabriel's Parochial School 

SOURCE: Boston School Committee 



1924 (6 rm.) 



1913 (3 rm., hall, gym) 

1939 (18 rm., shop, 2 cafeterias) 

1940 (Excavation, 4 rm.) 
1952 (garage) 



12 

PAROCHIAL AND OTHER SCHOOLS 




Secondary 



4 - Mt. St Joseph 

5 - Presentation 

6 - St. Columbkille 



® 



Other Schools 



7- Kennedy School 
8 - Chouncy Hall 



TABLE 22 

ALLSTON-BRIGHTON: Parochial School Enrollment 1968-1970 



Elementary (1-8) 
St. Anthony's 
St. Columbkille's 
St. Gabriel's 
Presentation 

Total Elementary 



Capacity (II 

530 
600 

680 



1810 



Enrollment 
1968 1969 1970 



535 



890 



315 



685 



500 



820 



290 



635 



475 



620 (2) 



(3) 



680 



2425 2245 1775 



High School (9-12) 
St. Columbkille's 
Mt. St. Joseph (4) 
Presentation (4) 



420 
595 
145 



490 



640 



160 



475 



635 



160 



370 



590 



145 



Total High School 1160 



1290 1270 1105 



GRAND TOTAL 2970 3715 3515 2880 

(1) 1970 Standards 

(2) Drop in enrollment reflects adoption of 35 pupil classroom limitation by parish 
education committee. 

(3) School closed; building leased to Boston School Committee; now Alexander 
Hamilton Annex. 

(4) Girls only. 

SOURCE:Catholic School Directory for the Archdiocese of Boston, 1968-1969, 1969-1970. 



TABLE 23 

ALLSTON-BRIGHTON: Parochial School Buildings 



SCHOOL 
Elementary 
St. Anthony's 
St. Columbkille's 
Presentation 

High School 
St. Columbkille's 
Presentation 
Mt. St. Joseph 



YEAR BUILT 
1915 

1920, addition 1950 
1925 

1906, addition 1930 
c. 1930 (1) 

1895 



(1) Originally private residence; school has been at this location since 1942. 



Additional school closings should be expected in the near 
future. 

c. Other Schools 

Allston-Brighton is also the home of several schools 
serving city-wide needs. The Barrett Special School for 
the mentally retarded has already been mentioned. 
Kennedy School, which is operated cooperatively by 
Kennedy Memorial Hospital for Children and the Boston 
School Committee, provides a day program for 
rehabilitation and therapy for former patients with 
emotional problems, speech imediments, and physical 
disabilities. Chauncy Hall is a private preparatory school 
for boys. Finally, the Boston Business School with 
secretarial, clerical and accounting programs for high 
school graduates, has moved its facilities to 
Allston-Brighton. 

d. Summary 

Table 24 summarizes the combined enrollment for 
both public and parochial schools in Allston-Brighton for 
the past three years. It shows that while overall 
enrollment in the area decreased by 7% during this 
period, the number of students attending public schools 
increased slightly, indicating a shift of the educational 
burden away from the parochial school system to the 
public sector as well as a decline in the total number 
of school age children in the district. It would seem, then, 
that school planning in Allston-Brighton should take into 
account not only the need to replace outdated facilities, 
but also the possibility of having to accommodate more 
children should the Archidiocese continue to close its 
schools. 

2. Parks and Recreation (See Map 13) 

With 359 acres of park land, Allston-Brighton as a 
whole is generally well served in terms of parks and 
recreation facilities. However, approximately two thirds 
of the land devoted to park use are concentrated in 
two MDC facilities (Charles River Embankment - 104 
acres, and Chestnut Hill Reservoir-1 29 acres) located at 
the periphery of the District leaving only 126 acres for 
local neighborhood use. 

The Metropolitan District Commission provides 
swimming and ice skating facilities at Cleveland Circle 
and on Soldiers Field Road along the Charles River 
Embankment. The latter reservation also contains boating 
facilities. Although these facilities get heavy use from 



residents of Allston-Brighton, they serve residents f 
neighboring communities as well. 

As indicated on Table 25, nearly all of the f 
facilities used exclusively by local residents (playfi 
and playgrounds) are owned and operated by the ( 
of Boston. A complete listing of Public Open Spac 
Allston-Brighton is provided in Table 26. 

Besides outdoor recreational facili 
Allston-Brighton has a number of indoor recreati( 
facilities operated by both municipal and pri 
agencies. These include programs at the Brighton F 
School, and at the Taft and Edison Junior High Schc 
Additional programs will be provided in the soon t( 
completed West End Boys Club. 

3. Health (See Map 14) 

The concern with the delivery of health car 
the community level is generally directed tov 
providing adequate neighborhood health clinics 
strengthening visiting nurse and other home-cent( 
programs, aimed primarily at expectant mothers, infa 
school children and the elderly. This section cont 
an inventory of existing health facilities, programs 
activities in Allston-Brighton. 

a. Brighton-Allston Community He 

Corporation 

The Brighton-Allston Community He 
Corporation is a community based organiza' 
composed of local residents. Its chief aims an 
improve the distribution of health services to 
poor and to areas poorly located with respec 
existing facilities, and to develop special, area-v 
programs directed towards family planning and) 
treatment of alcoholics. BACHCO operates 
Fidelis Way Referral Center which prov 
information concerning available health servi 
Its current activities include undertaking a st 
of local health problems as a basis for determiri 
ways of improving local health services. 

b. Clinic and Home Health Care 

The City of Boston operates two he 
clinics in Allston/Brighton: one in the Acad 
Hill Courthouse and the other 
Washington-Allston School. St. Elizabe 
Hospital provides clinic services for childrer 



1 



PUBLIC OPEN SPACE 
OVER ONE ACRE 




3- Chestnut Hill Park 10" Murray 

4- Gallager Park II - Reilly 

5- Ringer Park 12" Roberts 

6- Rogers Park '3- Union 

School Playgrounds 



14 ■ Brighton High 

■ Playfields 15" Edison Jr High 

16 ■ Gardner 

7- CmltK IV- .ln/~Lp/%n 



TABLE 24 



ALLSTON-BRIGHTON: Public and Parochial School Enrollment 1968-1970 



Elementary 
Public 
Parochial 



1968 1969 1970 % Change 1968-1970 



Total Elementary 



3510 3410 3629 



2425 2245 1775 



5935 5655 5395 



+ 3.5% 



-26.8% 



9.1% 



Secondary (1) 
Public 
Parochial 



Total Secondary 



2620 2725 2660 



1290 1270 1105 



3910 3995 3765 



-I- 1.1% 



-14.3% 



- 3.7% 



TOTAL PUBLIC 



TOTAL PAROCHIAL 



6130 6135 6280 



3715 3515 2880 



+ 2.3% 



-22.5% 



GRAND TOTAL (2) 



9845 9650 9160 



- 6.9% 



(1) Public schools include junior high schools (grades 7-9) and high schools (grades 10-12); 
private secondary schools include grades 9-12. 

(2) Does not include Kennedy School, Chauncy Hall, or Boston Business School. 



SOURCE:Boston School Committee and Catholic School Directory. 



TABLE 25 

ALLSTON-BRIGHTON: Public Open Space Summary 



Type City of Boston MDC Total 

Parks & Reservations 61.1 233.4 294.5 

Playfields 23.4 23.4 

Playgrounds & Tot Lots 15.8 6.8 22.6 

School Playgrounds 16.4 16.4 

Malls & Squares 1.9 1.9 



TOTAL 118.6 240.2 358.8 



TABLE 26 



ALLSTON-BRIGHTON: 


Public Open Space - Listing by Type 




PARK'? Ri RFCipRV ATinN<=; 






Nsms 


1 oppttinn-IVIan Rpfprpnpp 


Acres 


Ph;irlpc Riwpr Rpcprv/atinn /MDP^ 

wl ICll ICS r\ 1 V CI 11 CoCI V a LI 1 \ IVI V> / 


^tnrrnw Driv/p - 1 

\J L\_/ 1 1 VV live 1 


\ UH.O 


r^hpctniit Mill RpQprA/nir 


Rpapr\ n A Oom mrvn\A/pal th-^ 

UCO^U 1 1 0< \_/UI 1 1 i 1 lUI 1 VVCCII LI 1 £. 


1 9Q 1 


Chestnut Hill Park 


Chestnut Hill Drive-3 


24.6 




& Beacon 




Gallagher Park 


Lake Shore Road-4 


16.0 


Ringer Park 


Allston & Griggs PI. -5 


12.3 


Rr\nprc Park" 
rtUycib rdiix 


1 aU* P P r\ctPr-R 




PLAYFIELDS 






Smith Playground 


Western & Soldiers-7 


14.0 




PlolH Rrtarl 

1 iciu nudu 




PI AYflRnilNnc; Rj TDT 1 HT^ 






ndiU imdil rldyyiUUIIUV^^dK 0\-\ Udl c 


\A/ acri inn+r^n f(j P a n pi 1 1 1 
Vv dbi Ml ly LUI 1 0( r dllcUM'O 




Urt ha ri". R and on h 

nuudi i-ndiicicyii 


M r^harl"- R anpl pnhi 
liuucii L riaiicicyii 


n Q 

VJ.I7 


ivicixinncy r laygr uunu 


Panoi 1 1 1 -Q 

rdi icu 1 1 17 




Murray Playground 


Portsmouth-10 


4.3 


Penniman St. Play Area 


Penninnan & Hano 


0.9 


Reilly Playground (MDC) 


Wade St. & Hill Dr.-ll 


6.8 


Roberts Play Area 


Sorrento, Hooker & Goddard-12 


1.0 


1 lni/~\n P 1 a\/nrr\i 1 nH 

wiiiuii ridyyiuuiiu 


llninn ^trppt-l*^ 

wlllf^ll OLICCL lO 


1 .3 








Baldwin 


r^r\rp\/ \A/ach i r»ntr\n 
out c y tx V V aoi 1 1 1 ly tui i 




Darreti 


Rotram fii Tra\/tc 
DCLIdll) tX 1 1 dv lo 


0.7 


Drignion nign 


\A/arrpn ^trppt-14. 

VVallCll OLICCL I 


5.0 


nuibUii juiiiui niyii 


\A/ilt<;hirp Ri Fn<;tpr-1R 

VVIILDIIIIC tX 1 Vi^oLd 1 «iJ 


2.1 


vjaruner 


AthnI A RrpntwnnH-1 fi 

rA LI t\J\ CX LJ 1 CI 1 Lvv UL/LJ 1 \J 


1.0 


oarTieiQ 


P anpi til A Rppr^hrrof "f 
di ICU 1 1 cx IJCCL.1 iLr 1 u 1 l 


0.9 


Hami Iton 


Qtrathmnrp A Phpctniit Hill 

OLidLlllllLIIC 0( w 1 ICo LI 1 U L ll 1 1 1 


9 


Jackson 


Mriirigiuii ot vvcbicy i / 




Lyon 


DccCllClUIL 0( ncbici 


fl R 


Oak Square 


Oak Scfuare 




Storrow 


Lothrup-Waverly 


0.8 


Taft Junior High 


Cambridge-Warren 


0.8 


Washington- Allston 


Cambridge & Harvard 


0.3 


Winship 


Dighton 


0.6 



TABLE 26 (continued) 
MALLS & SQUARES 



Name 

Brighton Square 
Chiswicl< Road 
Cunningham Square 
Fern Square 
Jackson Square 
Oak Square 
Public Ground 



Location-Map Reference Acres 

Chestnut Hill & Academy Road 0.6 

Commonwealth & Sidlaw 0.6 

Cambridge & Murdock 0.2 

Franklin & Fern Square 0.1 

Chestnut Hill & Union 0.1 

Washington & Faneuil 0.2 

Cambridge & Henshaw 0.1 

TOTAL 349.4 



Numbered facilities are shown on Map 13. 



14 

HEALTH FACILITIES 




6 - Courthouse (Dental) 

7 - St Elizabeth's 

8 - Storrow School 

9 - North Harvard (Planned) 



Other Health Facilities 

10- Brighton Court Clinic 

(Mass Mental Health Center) 
II - Critteton Hastings House 
12- Project Turnabout 



OTHER COMMUNITY FACILITIES 




BrigMon Municipo! Building 
Allston Little City Hall 

3- Brighton Municipal Court 

4- Police Station N*I4 
5~ Fire House - Engine 34 

6- Fire House- Engine 29 

7- Fire House- Engine 41 
Ladder I 

8- Fire House - Engine 5 

9- ANston Ubrory 
Brighton Library 
Faneuil Library 
Allston Post Office 

13- Brig^ton Post Office 

14- Jewish Community Center 

15- YMCA 

16- West And House 



both the hospital and at the Storrow School. The 
Massachusetts Mental Health Center provides counseling 
services at the Brighton District Court. 

Supplementing these clinics is the school health 
program. Four circulating nurses are assigned to the 
Allston-Brighton public schools to carry out periodic 
examinations and immunization programs. 

The Visiting Nurse Association provides local 
personalized care. This city-wide service provides 
part-time nursing care and other therapeutic services at 
home. In 1969, about 10% of all service visits in the 
City of Boston were made to residents of 
Allston-Brighton. Despite broad community support, the 
agency is experiencing serious financial trouble and has 
forecast cutbacks in services. 

c. Hospitals 

Besides being conveniently located with respect to 
the many medical institutions affiliated with Harvard 
Medical School in the Fenway, Allston-Brighton has 
right within its boundaries, five hospitals serving varying 
needs. The largest hospital in the District is St. 
Elizabeth's Hospital, a short-term general hospital 
operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, 
and affiliated with the New England Medical Center. 
With 420 beds, St. Elizabeth's is exceeded only by 
Boston City Hospital, and the Huntington Avenue 
Veteran's Administration Hospital in bed-capacity in the 
entire City of Boston. 

Two small hospitals are located in Allston-Brighton. 
St. John of God, operated by the Roman Catholic 
Archdiocese, is a long-term chronic care hospital with 
101 beds. The Archdiocese is presently reviewing the 
status of this facility and has indicated that it might be 
closed. Hahnemann Hospital is a short-term general 
hospital with only 65 beds. 

Allston-Brighton is also the home of two hospitals 
having very large service areas. The Joseph P. Kennedy 
Memorial Hospital for children provides services in acute 
pediatric care. The U.S. Public Health Service operates 
a general hospital primarily for Coast Guard and other 
military personnel and their dependents. The U.S. Public 
Health Service has indicated that the facility may be 
closed in the near future or converted to a different use. 



d. Other Health Facilities and Programs 

These specialized health facilities and programs a 
located in the area: 

Project Turnabout is a self-help drug program ri 
by ex-addicts, providing residential treatment f 
drug abusers and preventive and education 
programs for interested persons. 

The Crittenton Hastings House is a maternity hor 
for unmarried mothers with both a day and 
residential program providing social services, • 
school and a pre-natal clinic 

The Local Advisory Council on Alcoholism, forme" 
under the auspices of Action for Bosto 
Community Development (ABCD) in cooperatio 
with the local Area Planning and Action Counc 
is the first of its kind in the City. This group 
presently seeking federal funds through the Offic 
of Justice Administration to carry out 
comprehensive program to rehabilitate alcoholic; 

4. Other Community Facilities (See Map 15) 

Other public facilities are provided for at tl 
community level. These include the Brighton Municip 
Building (auditorium, gymnasium, public bath), tl 
Allston and Brighton Little City Halls, the District Poll 
Station and County Courthouse, and four Fire Statior 
Several studies concerning the consolidation ai 
construction of new fire stations have been undertake 
but no changes or improvements have proceeded beyoi 
the proposal stage. 

Allston-Brighton is served by two branches of t 
Post Offices. The Harvard Avenue Branch is a new facili 
and the Washington Branch has plans to relocate in larg 
quarters. Three branches of the Boston Public Libra 
serve the Allston-Brighton community. The Brightc 
branch, dedicated in April 1970, is the largest libra 
in the community. The Allston branch is small ai 
inadequately housed on the second floor of a commerc 
structure. 

Many of the buildings listed on the following tat 
are over 40 years in age and have not been remodelle 
The ages and dates of remodelling for each of the abo 
listed public facilities is summarized in Table 27. 



16 

NEIGHBORHOOD AREAS 




TABLE 27 



ALLSTON-BRIGHTON: Other Community Facilities 



NAME 



YEAR BUILT 



YEAR REMODELLED 



Civic Buildings 



Brighton Municipal Building 
Allston Little City Hall 
County Courthouse 
District Police Station 



1925 
1968 
1931 
1891 



1931 



Fire Stations 



Western Ave. 
Chestnut Hill Ave. 
Faneuil Street 
Harvard Ave. 



1887 
1929 
1913 
1891 



1924 

1937 
1947 



Post Offices 



Brighton 
Allston 



1956 
1969 



Libraries 



Allston 

Brighton 

Faneuil 



1930 
1969 
1932 



Community Centers 



Jewish Community Center 
YMCA 

West End Boy's Club 



1956 

1958 1970 
Under construction 



Summary 

Allston-Brighton's community facilities are not 
wing their age gracefully. Schools in particular are old 

obsolete and will have to meet increasing demands 
the future with further parochial school closings, 
jhborhood parks and playgrounds are inadequate and 
!ss to the large open areas is difficult. Several of the 
«nt health facilities have indicated that service 
jacks are imminent because of inadequate funding. 
iy public buildings in Allston-Brighton are in need 
replacement, particularly fire stations, the District 
ice Station and the Allston Branch Library. 

NEIGHBORHOOD AREAS 

The community of Allston-Brighton is composed 
a diversity of overlapping neighborhoods, as indicated 
Map 16. 

1. North Harvard 

The most significant features of North 
Harvard are the barriers created by the Turnpike 
and its access ramps and the Penn Central Railroad 
Yard. These heavy transportation uses, as well as 
the large parcels of land owned by Harvard 
University have restricted residential and 
commercial development to two enclaves. The first 
area, between Commonwealth Avenue and the 
railroad, is characterized by obsolete buildings and 
inefficient site development of commercial and 
manufacturing uses there. The second enclave lies 
north of Cambridge Street. It is basically an old, 
family residential neighborhood, surrounded by 
commercial and industrial uses. The major physical 
problem of both sub-areas is deterioration. 

The construction of the Turnpike and a 
general shift in the space requirements of 
commercial uses has aggravated the pattern of 
incompatible land uses and blighted environment. 
A major opportunity for revitalizing this 
neighborhood area for residential and commercial 
purposes exists. The Committee for North Harvard 
and Charlesview, Inc., have already provided a 
stimulus for improvements in the area through the 
construction of 212 units of new housing for low 
and moderate income families, as part of the North 
Harvard Urban Renewal Project. In addition, a 
program of code enforcement has been proposed 



as a necessary step in improving and stabilizing this 
neighborhood. 

2. North Allston 

The basic structure of North Allston, is similar to 
that of North Harvard. The railroad, turnpike. Western 
Avenue, and the land owned by Harvard University act 
as dividers, separating and isolating several residential and 
commercial sub-areas. The residential sections are located 
in the vicinity of Union Square, North Harvard and 
Waverly Streets. This area has recently experienced a 
significant increase in students. 

Modern commercial uses with ample parking and 
discount merchandising and several new office buildings 
are located between Western Avenue and Soldier's Field 
Road. However, as in North Harvard, industrial uses 
adjacent to Everett Street and the Turnpike are 
characterized by deterioriation and inharmonious 
patterns of land use. 

Several programs and studies have been or are 
proposed to be undertaken to up-grade the environment 
of North Allston. These include the Waverly Street 
project, a code enforcement program, and a study of the 
manufacturing areas south of the Turnpike. (For further 
discussion on these projects, see Section III, Current 
Improvement Programs). 

3. South Allston 

The neighborhood area of South Allston is the 
western gateway to downtown Boston with access and 
public transit on Brighton and Commonwealth Avenues. 
These streets, along with Harvard Avenue, also provide 
the major focus for apartments and commercial uses. 
Lower density residential areas are interspersed on local 
streets throughout the neighborhood. 

Residential properties in South Allston are, for the 
most part, in good condition, although areas contiguous 
to commercial uses show signs of deterioration. While 
the commercial properties in South Allston are generally 
in fair to good condition, they have little or no room 
for expansion. In addition, since parking facilities are at 
a premium in the area, automobile and trucks generated 
by these uses add to a generally congested traffic 
situation. 

In 1960, South Allston had a relatively high 
percentage of elderly (19%) compared to other sections 



of the District and the City as a whole. This figure 
dropped to 15% in 1970, largely as a result of an influx 
of Spanish families as well as a large increase in the 
number of students who are gradually displacing the 
elderly in this area. 

Despite its problems, the South Allston area has 
many assets. The residential buildings along 
Commonwealth Avenue are distinctive landmarks. The 
area's easy access to downtown Boston and Boston's 
western suburbs makes this area a highly desirable 
location. 

4. Brighton Center 

Brighton Center, situated at the convergence of 
Cambridge, Washington, iVIarket and Chestnut Hill 
Streets, in the focus of varied commercial and 
institutional activities serving the Allston-Brighton 
community. 

Brighton Center has a good cross section of 
community facilities, including Brighton High, Taft 
Junior High and Hamilton Annex Schools, St. Elizabeth's 
and Kennedy Hospitals, and a municipal building, district 
court, police station, health clinic and library. A variety 
of local retail and service establishments are located in 
Brighton Center. In recent years, drive-in food service 
establishments have proliferated in the area, resulting in 
problems of sign control, congestion and 
under-utilization of land at locations where more intense 
development might otherwise occur. 

Although many large distinctive homes are located 
in the immediate vicinity of Brighton Center, commercial 
and institutional expansion, as well as the demolition of 
an increasing number of these homes. The future of the 
Brighton Center area depends in a large part upon how 
the competition for land is resolved among higher density 
commercial, institutional and residential land uses. 

5. Faneuil 

The Faneuil area is primarily a well-maintained 
lower density residential neighborhood. Except for the 
Faneuil public housing project, most of the area's housing 
stock consists of one and two-family detached dwellings. 
The area is served by commercial centers located on the 
edges at Brighton Center and Oak Square. 

The population data for 1970 showed that this 
neighborhood had a large number of youths under 15 



years of age (24% of the total population compared 
16% for the District). Only North Allston, with 26% I 
more children (See Table 2). Recognizing the need 
an additional recreation facility in this area, the Cii 
Public Facilities Department, on the recommendation 
the Boston Redevelopment Authority and ie 
Allston-Brighton Local Advisory Council, recerV 
transferred the Hobart-Ranelegh site to the p£ 
Department for development as a neighborhood pi 

6. Oak Square 

The Oak Square area is a residential neighborh(^ 
similar in character to Faneuil, with single, two , j 
three-family structures in sound condition. This area s 
the advantage of several natural features includ g 
Chandler's Pond, Cenacle Convent Hill and Nonant n 
Hill. I 

The major commercial center of this neighborhc i 
is located at Oak Square where building conditions ra B 
from good to poor condition. Because of competitn 
from recently developed large discount shopping cent , 
the future of many of the commercial uses here isi i 
doubt. i 

The pressure for housing construction i 
Allston-Brighton is presently being felt at Oak Squ i 
and along Tremont Street. Several private apartm t 
buildings have been constructed in recent years < I 
others are being planned. Topography, access ; i 
availability of sites have facilitated this trend f 
residential construction. The Boston Housing Author / 
is interested in a parcel of land owned by the MB \ 
once used as a streetcar turn-around, as a site for elde / 
housing. The newly formed Oak Square Civic Associat i 
has indicated an interest in playing a primary role i 
reviewing various development proposals as well is 
advancing programs on their own to stabilize and upgn b 
their neighborhood. 

7. Aberdeen 

The Aberdeen neighborhood area is characterized! r 
single and multi-family homes in sound conditi i 
bounded by major institutions, open spaces ? I 
apartment structures on Commonwealth Avenue, L 
Street and Washington Street. The Kirkwood-Radij 
Street and the Leamington Road areas contain the f j 
suburban-type developments in the City of Boston, bil 
around 1890 when Commonwealth Avenue was extenci 
to Chestnut Hill Reservoir. The residents include | 



; irly, families and students. The latter are concentrated 
tjthe South Street and Commonwealth Avenue areas. 

it The major institutional uses provide the 
jhborhood area with its outstanding landmarks and 
in spaces, including St. John's Seminary, the Boston 
lege Law School, the Cardinal's residence and the 
jers Playground. The major neighborhood groups in 
area are the Aberdeen and Lake Shore Improvement 
ociations. 

Chestnut Hill-Cleveland Circle 

Chestnut Hill-Cleveland Circle has a great deal of 
k and open space such as Chestnut Hill Park, the MDC 
servation and Evergreen Cemetery. The MDC Water 
irks on Beacon Street provides a park-like setting, as 
as the nearby Boston College campus. The remainder 
this sub-area is residential, with a considerable amount 
commercial activity at Cleveland Circle and along 
mmonwealth Avenue. 

Apartment buildings of ten units or more 
xiominate along the major through streets with large 
e and two-family structures on interior roads. Some 
these streets, e.g., Lamark and Kilsyth, were developed 
the same time as the nineteenth century suburbs in 
)erdeen mentioned earlier. Chestnut Hill-Cleveland 
rcle has an unusually high concentration of elderly 
rsons over 65 years of age with 23% compared to just 
1% for all of Allston-Brighton, and 12% for the City 
Boston. (See Table 2). 

A major concern of this neighborhood area and 
jacent Aberdeen is the possibility that institutional 
pansion may result in encroachment on residential 
jas. 

Summary 

The neighborhood areas of Allston-Brighton have 
/erse characteristics, problems and opportunities. These 
:lude proximity to downtown Boston and the western 
burbs, a variety of residential areas, mixed industrial 
d institutional base, and several new shopping areas 
d office developments. 

Land use incompatibility has given rise to blight and 
ilding deterioration, particularly where residences meet 
mmercial and industrial uses. Traffic congestion, lack 
sufficient off-street parking, property neglect and 



obsolescence also contribute to this problem. In addition, 
institutional expansion and the changing character of 
commercial activity have had a negative influence on the 
stability of Allston-Brighton. Many of these liabilities, 
however, can be overcome if more neighborhoods took 
an active role in coping with the many problems facing 
the community. 



K. COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS 

In addition to the Allston-Brighton Local Advisory 
Council, a wide variety of community organizations are 
active in Allston-Brighton. Some of these groups focus 
on community-wide problems, others on concerns only 
of interest to a particular neighborhood. The success or 
failure of the District Planning Program is largely 
dependent upon the energy and resourcefulness of these 
groups. Below is a brief description of the activities of 
each. 

1 . Community Service and Improvement 

The organizations described below sponsor 
programs which meet the needs of Allston-Brighton 
in a wide variety of areas. 

a. Allston-Brighton Area Planning Action 
Council 

The Allston-Brighton APAC strives to 
involve residents with existing agencies by 
determining the needs of the community, 
formulating goals, objectives and programs, 
and seeking solutions to community problems. 
The Council is sponsored by Action for 
Boston Community Development and funded 
by the Office of Economic Opportunity. 

b. Police-Community Relations Group for 
Allston-Brighton 

Station 14 officers meet with the 
community residents to harmonize the needs 
of the community and the work of local 
police. The group is sponsored and funded by 
the Boston Police Department. 

c. Community Education Project 

The purpose of the Community 



Education Project is to develop a community school 
program which includes adult education programs and 
Saturday learning programs and field trips for the youth. 
The group is sponsored by the Boston School Department 
and APAC and funded by charities. 

d. Allston-Brighton Inter-Agency Council 

The Allston-Brighton Inter-Agency Council consists 
of representatives of various community organizations, 
hospitals, and services who meet to exchange information 
and to work together in improving community services. 

e. Allston Board of Trade 

The Allston Board of Trade lists 125 Allston 
merchants who handle all legislative affairs and oversee 
commercial development in the Harvard Avenue business 
community. 

f. New Washington-Allston School Committee 

The New Washington-Allston School Committee 
consists of local residents who work with the Boston 
School Department and the Public Facilities Department 
on educational prospectus, architectural design and siting 
of the new Washington-Allston School. 

g. Brighton Legal Assistance Project 

The Brighton Legal Assistance Project, sponsored by 
the ABCD and Boston Legal Aid Society, Inc., and funded 
by OEO, provides legal assistance to low income families 
either free of charge or for a nominal fee. The project 
caseload includes family problems, housing/rental cases, 
welfare rights, social security and drafting counseling. 

h. Allston-Brighton Community Tenant's Union 

The Allston-Brighton Community Tenant's Union 
was organized to become a bargaining agent with landlords 
as well as a lobby for rent control legislation. The area 
is also served by the Boston Area Congress for Tenant's 
Rights, the Neighborhood Action Group (NAG) working 
through the Jewish Community Center and Citizens 
United for Tenants (CUT). 

i. Brighton-Allston Community Health Corporation 

The Brighton-Allston Community Health 
Corporation works to improve and expand physical and 
mental health services in the community. The organization 



is sponsored by APAC and funded by OEO. Prograrr 
the agency include the Fidelis Information and Ref 
Center and the Boston Family Planning Program, 
group is presently planning a neighborhood health c 
in the North Harvard Renewal Project Area. 

j . Allston-Brighton Arts Council 

The Allston-Brighton Arts Council cofic 
workshops, guest lectures, and audio-visual progran 
the arts. It is sponsored by APAC and funded by pn 
contributions. 

I 

k. Brighton Historical Society ' 

The Brighton Historical Society is interestei 
locating space to display Brighton's mementos 
memorabilia. An architectural survey of the commi 
is currently underway with the assistance of the Be 
Historical Landmarks Commission. 

I. Headstart Program 

The Headstart Program for pre-kindergarteni 
children from low income families is designed to ei 
the child's experiences with an emphasis on p; 
participation. The program is funded by the Departi 
of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) and spons 
by APAC. 

2. Neighborhood Improvement 

Within Allston-Brighton are a number of gr 
with more localized concern. 

Several organizations are concerned with prevei 
physical blight and controlling juvenile delinque 
Aberdeen Improvement Association, Lake S 
Improvement Association ,, and Oak Square 
Association. 



The Allston Civic Association, Inc. , is concf 
with getting better representation on the City Co 
and obtaining better services for this section o1 
community. 

Charlesview, Inc ., and the Committee for 1^ 
Harvard provide management and tenant selection fc 
federally assisted North Harvard Street developr 
Both groups are sponsored by inter-faith church gn 
community leaders and the Federal Government. 



Schools in the area participate in Home and School 
Associations through which parents attempt to broaden 
instruction, to improve the maintenance of the school 
buildings, and to raise funds for special purposes. 

3. Elderly 

The following clubs conduct a variety of programs 
and activities for senior citizens: 

Chestnut Hill Golden Age Club 

Washington Heights Elderly 

Faneuil Golden Age Club 

Allston-Harvard Golden Age Club 

Fidelis Way Elderly 

Young Israel Elderly 

Brookline, Brighton, Allston Elderly 

Kehillath Israel Golden Age Club 

Brighton Municipal Building Golden Age Club 

Kadimah Synagogue Elderly 

4. Summary 

A variety of community organizations exist in 
Allston-Brighton. Some of these groups are concerned 
with community services and others with neighborhood 
improvement. These groups are often instrumental in 
identifying problems, and in the drafting and 
implementation of plans for improving neighborhood 
areas and Allston-Brighton as a whole. 



I 



. MAJOR PROBLEMS and ISSUES 



. HOUSING AND A GROWING STUDENT 
POPULATION 

While surrounding communities such as Newton 
id Brookline generally have maintained their suburban 
laracter and have continued to attract families with 
lildren, Allston Brighton has increasingly become the 
)me of elderly residents and young transients. Like 
ambridge and the Back Bay-Fenway area, 
llslon Bi ighton has absorbed a large percentage of 
oston s student population. The location, age and 
Dnditioi, nt the housing stock, and the availability of 
jblic transit makes the area well-suited for young 
=?ople attending nearby colleges and universities. 

The university environment is also attractive to 
oung professionals and secretarial personnel who make 
irther demands upon housing market. Shared 
pariments io meet increasing rents is a common 
rijctice of both students and young working people. 

Certain segments of the population, particularly the 
Iderly and other low income families, are unable to 
nd suitable housing as a result of rising rents in 
vllston Brighton. Although it is tempting to criticize 
tudents, university housing policies, or governmental 
gencies for the distressing housing situation in the 
)istrict, it is important to note that many forces are 
t work which influence the economics of the housing 
narket - including the supply and rent levels. New 
lousing construction is a critical need throughout the 
'ity, but few areas are experiencing much intense 
lemands for housing as in Allston-Brighton. 



i. NON RESIDENTIAL LAND USES 

A ma)or problem in Allston-Brighton concerns the 
lapha/aid mixture of land uses resulting in 
inder-developed or improperly developed land. One of 
he major tools the City has to encourage harmonious 
and usage is zoning. However, instead of discouraging 
;onflicting uses and promoting sound development 
)attf;rns, ttu; existing zoning map reinforces the present 
umbled land pattern. Certain areas with a variety of 
;onflicting uses could be re-zoned to permit more 
ippropriate types of development. 

Allston Brighton lacks a strong community 
hopping center. In addition, several neighborhood 
hopping areas aie in a serious state of obsolescence and 



blight. Once major commercial areas, along Washington 
Street-Market Street and Brighton Avenue-Harvard 
Avenue, have been changing in nature and declining in 
importance. 

One of the reasons for this trend is the invasion 
of quick-stop, short-older franchise drive in restaurants, 
datinq bars, boutique clothing stores, and other retail 
establishments which primarily service students and 
young adults. In many cases, these new stores have 
replaced or displaced commercial facilities which have 
long provided the basic goods and services required by 
permanent residents. 

Allston-Brighton's commercial areas have not 
completed successfully with neighboring shopping 
districts, accessible by Mass Transportation such as 
Coolidge Corner in Brookline, and Harvard Square in 
Cambridge. New stores with modern merchandising and 
ample parking (such as Turn-Style, Star Market and Big 
Buy) located on Western Avenue and Soldiers Fields 
Road as well as Chestnut Hill Shopping Center have 
captured part of the market formerly served by the local 
business areas in Allston-Brighton but probably do a 
larger share of their business with motorists from other 
areas. 

The industrial areas of Allston-Brighton are, in 
many cases, deteriorated and under-utilized. This 
condition is a consequence of obsolescence brought 
about by changing technology, poor access (particularly 
the area between North Beacon Street and Massachusetts 
Turnpike) and adjacent residential properties which 
restrict expansion of industrial uses. At the same time, 
the industrial areas have a deteriorating influence on the 
surrounding residential neighborhoods. 

Given the importance of industry to 
Allston-Brighton and the City of Boston, an effort 
should be made to establish zones of industrial activity 
which are more intensively developed but clearly 
separated from residential areas. 

C. TRAFFIC AND PARKING 

Like other sections of Boston, Allston-Brighton 
developed with a core-oriented transportation system 
which gave the street pattern in this area an east-west 
orientation. North South movements within and through 
Allston-Brighton (particularly from Brookline to 
Cambridge along Cambridge and North Harvard Streets) 
are difficult and congested. North-South traffic must 



utilize streets such as Chestnut Hill Avenue and Harvard 
Street which pass through residential and commercial 
zones. These streets are not wide enough to carry the 
existing flow of traffic, and the intersections are poorly 
designed. Present development greatly impedes 
improvements in street realignment, widening and 
channelization 

The flow of traffic into Watertown should be eased 
somewhat by the completion of the grade separation 
of the intersection of Soldiers Field Road and Market 
Street. Coordination of traffic signal timing might 
alleviate part of the congestion along Cambridge Street 
resulting from the Allston-Brighton interchange of the 
Massachusetts Turnpike Extension. If the proposed 
Inner Belt were constructed, some traffic might be 
diverted from passing through the community, but 
movement between Allston-Brighton and the 
immediately adjacent communities of Watertown, 
Newton, Brookline, and Cambridge would not be 
affected. 

The lack of sufficient off-street parking in 
commercial areas places additional limitations on access 
in and around Allston-Brighton, while inhibiting sound 
commercial development. The problem of parking is 
further complicated by the large number of apartment 
houses which do not have sufficient parking for their 
tenants. 

D. CONCLUSION 

This section has not discussed all the problems and 
issues facing the residents of Allston-Brighton, but just 
those factors which will probably have the greatest 
impact upon the future quality of life in the community. 
One of the most urgent needs is to resolve the conflict 
between the growing student age population and the 
other residents of Allston-Brighton. Another concern is 
to alleviate imcompatible land uses, to eliminate 
blighting and deteriorating commercial and industrial 
structures, and to maintain and strengthen the 
commercial and industrial areas within the community. 
A final objective might be to relieve traffic congestion 
and ease the parking shortage. 



IV. CURRENT and PROPOSED IMPROVEMENTS 



17 



CURRENT AND PROPOSED 
HOUSING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMS 




2- Charlesview Apartments 

3- Ulin House' 

4- Bobcock Towers 



Proposed Code 
Enforcement Areas 



HOUSING (See Map 17) 

1. North Harvard Urban Renewal Project 



under the Planned Development Area provisions of 
the Zoning Ordinance, provides for 25% of the 
units to be reserved for low income elderly tenants. 



A 6.6 acre site at the intersection of Western 
Avenue and North Harvard Street is presently being 
developed for 212 units of housing by the 
Committee for North Harvard Street, Inc., a 
broadly based community group. When complete, 
the project will contain low and moderate income 
housing including 72 one-bedroom, 40 
two-bedroom, 60 three-bedroom, and 40 
four-bedroom units. Rents will range from $105 
to $175 per month. The Boston Housing Authority 
will lease approximately 50 units scattered 
throughout the complex for low-income families. 

Also included in the development will be small 
shops, off-street parking for 200 cars, a playground, 
a health unit, a child day-care center and meeting 
rooms. Expected occupancy is Summer, 1971. 

2. Waverly Apartments 

Construction has begun on a 100 unit garden 
apartment complex to be located on 4.7 acres of 
vacant land, near Waverly Street in North Allston. 
The private development was approved as a Chapter 
121 A Urban Redevelopment project by the City 
in 1965, and is being financed under the 236 
program of the Federal Housing Administration. 
Rents for two and three bedroom units are 
expected to range from $160 to $180 a month. 

3. Jewish Community Housing Development 

A twelve-story complex for the elderly 
including 240 housing units and dining facilities is 
Hearing completion on a nine acre site between 
Wallingford Road and Chestnut Hill Avenue. 

The project is being developed by the Jewish 
Community Foundation under a 121A agreement 
with the City, which calls for construction of an 
additional 120 units. 

4. Babcock Street Towers 

A 22 story housing development containing 
207 utiits of low, moderate and upper income units 
is scheduled to be constructed on Babcock Street 
at Commonwealth Avenue. The plan, worked out 



5. Code Enforcement 

Recent B.R.A. surveys have indicated that 
housing quality declined between 1960 - 1970. This 
trend could have serious consequences for the 
stability of existing residential areas in 
Allston-Brighton. Portions of the North Allston and 
North Harvard areas have been proposed for 
assistance under the Federal Concentrated Code 
Enforcement Program. The main purpose of this 
program is to reverse the trend toward deteriorated 
housing by providing low interest, long-term loans 
to homeowners for rehabilitation. In addition, 
public improvements such as repairing streets and 
sidewalks and planting trees would be made. An 
application is currently being prepared for 
submission to the Federal Government for 
approval. However, this program will cover only a 
portion of the community, necessitating other 
efforts to deal with the problem of housing 
deterioration. 



B. PARKS AND RECREATION (See Map 18) 

Major improvements totalling $556,000 are 
planned in Allston-Brighton for the period 1971-1972. 
This projected expenditure compares to only $220,000 
for 1968-1970. Recreational flood lighting will be 
installed at Rogers Park and Murray and McKinney 
Playgrounds. Hobart-Ranelegh, Oak Square, and Roberts 
Playgrounds will be constructed and refurbished. New 
play equipment will be provided at Ringer Park 
Playground and tennis courts will be installed at Smith 
Playground. As part of the Urban Beautification plans, 
Roberts Playground will be furnished with a tot lot, 
basketball court, tennis courts, quiet sitting area, trees 
and landscaping. McKinney Playground is scheduled for 
a basketball court, landscaping, trees and removal of the 
manhole from the tennis court. 

C. COMMUNITY FACILITIES (See Map 18) 

The new Washington Allston/Horace Mann School, 
which will replace the present Washington-Allston, 
Jackson and Horace Mann schools, will be constructed 



18 



CURRENT AND PROPOSED 
PUBLIC FACILITY IMPROVEMENTS 




Other Improvements 



9- New Washington - Allston 

Horace Mann School 
10 Boston Buslrvess School 

11- Ftolice Station Renovation 

12- North Hoi/ard Health .Clinic 



ite of Jackson School. The new facility will be 
jK-5 elennentary school for 1,000 pupils and a 

ecial school for deaf students. The projected 
n date is 1972. 

fj Public Facilities Department has scheduled 
14 Police Station for renovation. A new fire 
s proposed for the Brighton Center area but a 

1, not yet been selected. 



T ANSPQRTATION IMPROVEMENTS 
1 Streets 

A variety of street improvements have taken 
ipice throughout Allston-Brighton during the past 
to years and a number of others are presently 
liderway. 

Those completed or under construction 
l;lude skim coating of nineteen streets, 

Iitallation of mercury vapor lights on seventeen 
eets, construction and reconstruction of roads 
d the redesign and construction of 
)mmonwealth Avenue as a divided roadway 
Itween Chestnut Hill Avenue and the Newton 
liundary line. 

Improvements now in the planning stage 
insists primarily of projects to upgrade the 
)eration of the District's major street system 
ider the state and federally assisted TOPICS 
ogram (Traffic Operation Program to Increase 
apacity and Safety). (See Map 19). 

Already approved under this program is a 
oject to improve approximately 20 intersections 
ong Commonwealth Avenue from Kenmore 
^uare to Lake Street. The existing traffic signals 

these locations will be modernized and 
iterconnected with each other to provide better 
jordination and smoother traffic flows. Work on 
lis project is expected to begin in 1972. 

A second project presently in the planning 
age includes more than 50 addition intersections. 
Tiprovements in this project will include not only 
lodernization of existing traffic signals but also 
ie installation of new signals at several 
itersections which presently have none. 



2. Public Transit 

In an experiment to improve public transit 
service between Allston-Brighton and downtown, 
the MBTA has substituted buses for the trolley 
which ran between Kenmore Square and 
Watertown. 

3. Parking 

In an effort to reduce the problem of 
residential parking, the City has undertaken a 
special residential decal program. All citizens who 
have registered their cars in the City of Boston are 
eligible to receive a decal. Automobiles without a 
decal are subject to ticketing or towing for 
violation of the City's two-hour parking limit. 
Allston-Brighton is the first neighborhood area to 
benefit from the program. 



E. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

The City's newly formed Economic Development 
and Industrial Commission has requested a grant from 
the Federal Economic Development Administration to 
finance a study of the problems and resources of an 
underutilized and blighted industrial area in 
Allston-Brighton. The proposed study area is bounded 
by the Massachusetts Turnpike, North Beacon Street and 
Cambridge Street. 

F. CONCLUSION 

The programs described above are a good 
beginning, but much more needs to be done. In 
particular, an ambitious program of housing 
construction and rehabilitation is urgently needed. In 
addition, the planned program for new community 
facilities is inadequate in terms of the many obsolete 
structures presently serving the area. The residents of 
Allston-Brighton must clearly identify priorities for 
action in their community and make these needs known. 



P O B L 1 C 
Ba5^ 



TOPICS PROGRAM 




to Begin in 1972 
In Planntng 



ERRATA 



Maps 

1. Map 15 - SHOULD READ: 

#6. FIRE HOUSE - ENGINE 29 - LADDER 11 
#7. FIRE HOUSE - ENGINE 41 - LADDER 14 

2. Map 17 - SHOULD SHOW: 

AREA 2 (CHARLESVIEW APARTMENTS) AT THE INTERSECTION OF WESTERN AVENUE 
AND NORTH HARVARD STREET. 

Tables 

3. Table 11 - SOURCE: U.S. CENSUS 1970 

4. Table 13 - SOURCE: U.S. CENSUS 1970 

5. Table 20 - NOT NUMBERED 

II 

6. B-2 (paragraph 2 and 3) several lines missing. SHOULD READ: 

...CHILDREN IN THE DISTRICT. THE HIGHEST CONCENTRATIONS OF CHILDREN IN 
ALLSTON-BRIGHTON ARE FOUND IN NORTH ALLSTON (26%) AND FANEUIL (24%) WHERE 
ONE, TWO AND THREE FAMILY HOMES PREDOMINATE. 

PERHAPS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT FACTOR AFFECTING THE AGE DISTRIBUTION OF 
ALLSTON BRIGHTON'S POPULATION IS THE PRESENCE OF INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER 
LEARNING, BOTH WITHIN THE COMMUNITY AND NEARBY. WHILE PERSONS OF STUDENT 
AGE COMPRISE JUST 22% OF THE CITY'S POPULATION, THEY MAKE UP 28% OF THE 
POPULATION IN ALLSTON-BRIGHTON. 

7. C-lb (lines 8-12) repeated. SHOULD READ: 

WHOLESALE COMMERCIAL AREAS ARE LOCATED ALONG PORTIONS OF THE MAJOR 
TRANSPORTATION CORRIDORS OF COMMONWEALTH AVENUE, NORTH BEACON STREET, 
CAMBRIDGE STREET AND WESTERN AVENUE. 

8. H-3c (first paragraph) SHOULD READ: 

BESIDES BEING CONVENIENTLY LOCATED WITH RESPECT TO THE MANY MEDICAL 
INSTITUTIONS AFFILIATED WITH HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL IN THE FENWAY, 
ALLSTON-BRIGHTON HAS WITHIN ITS BOUNDARIES, FIVE HOSPITALS SERVING VARYING 
NEEDS. THE LARGEST HOSPITAL IS ST. ELIZABETH'S HOSPITAL, A SHORT TERM 
GENERAL HOSPITAL OPERATED BY THE ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF BOSTON, 
AND AFFILIATED WITH THE NEW ENGLAND MEDICAL CENTER. ST. ELIZABETH'S HAVING 
390 BEDS IS EXCEEDED IN BED-CAPACITY ONLY BY THE MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL 
HOSPITAL, BOSTON CITY HOSPITAL AND THE HUNTINGTON AVENUE VETERAN'S 
ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL IN THE ENTIRE CITY OF BOSTON. ST. ELIZABETH'S RANKS 



FIFTH IN THE CITY AS A MATERNITY HOSPITAL HAVING RECORDED 1610 BIRTHS. 

Ill 

9. B (paragraph 4 - line 2) SHOULD READ: 

ALLSTON-BRIGHTON'S COMMERICAL AREAS HAVE NOT COMPETED SUCCESSFULLY WITH 
NEIGHBORHOOD SHOPPING DISTRICTS... 



1 Feb. 1972